Document Type

Senior Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 2015


In this paper I examine the relevance of moral desert with regards to compatibilist accounts of moral responsibility. I look at two types of moral desert: (1) desert with relation to an agent and a moral community and (2) desert with relation to the moral worth of an agent or action. I begin by discussing Pereboom’s four cases and the problem that might arise for compatibilists given which view of moral desert they affirm. From there I explicate these two opposing conceptions of desert relevant to moral responsibility. I look at one example of the latter kind of desert: desert-as-merit. Then I examine two examples of the first kind of desert: desert-as-fit and desert-as-fairness. By showing the problems that arise for these two types of desert, I hope to weaken the compatibilist account.

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