If no one is morally responsible, how should we respond to wrongdoing? Over the past twenty-five years, Derk Pereboom has grappled with this question with tremendous ingenuity, rigor, and generosity to his interlocutors. That responsibility skepticism is no longer regarded as a merely notional possibility, or the province of a handful of historical figures, is attributable to his efforts. In Wrongdoing and the Moral Emotions, Pereboom offers a new and wide-ranging account of what remains when we reject the idea that people are at least sometimes—and in at least one important sense—morally responsible for what they do.

The book’s animating idea is that our responsibility practices employ a class of unjustifiable attitudes of moral anger (for example, resentment and indignation) that are retributive, in that they reflect the presumption that their targets deserve to suffer or experience pain. In earlier work, Pereboom held that this kind of blame should...

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