Date of Award

Summer 7-26-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Eddy Nahmias

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrew I. Cohen

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Weiskopf


In his 1962 paper “Freedom and Resentment," Peter Strawson attempts to reconcile incompatibilism and compatibilism about moral responsibility and determinism. First, I present the error committed by the proponents of both these traditional views, which Strawson diagnoses as the source of their standoff, and the remedy Strawson offers to avoid the conflict. Second, I reconstruct the two arguments Strawson offers for a theory of moral responsibility that is based on his proposed remedy. Third, I present and respond to two proposed problems for the Strawsonian theory: moral luck and revisionism. I conclude with a summary of my defense of Strawsonian “expressivism” about moral responsibility, and offer suggestions for further research.