"Freedom and Resentment" and Consequentialism: Why 'Strawson's Point' Is Not Strawson's Point
by Dale E. Miller
In The Second-Person Standpoint, Stephen Darwall offers an interpretation of P. F. Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” according to which the essay advances the thesis that good consequences are the “wrong kind of reason” to justify “practices of punishment and moral responsibility.” Darwall names this thesis “Strawson’s Point.” I argue for a different reading of Strawson, one according to which he holds this thesis only in a qualified way and, more generally, is not the unequivocal critic of consequentialism that Darwall makes him out to be. In fact, I contend, Strawson’s account of the reactive attitudes can potentially be a useful resource for consequentialists.
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