Resentment and the Impossibility of Universal Abnormality

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P.F. Strawson in “Freedom and Resentment” argues that it is self-contradictory for abnormality to be the universal condition. This argument is claimed by Paul Russell (Ethics, 102, 287–302, 1992) to be faulty because conflating abnormality and incapacity, there being no contradiction involved in incapacity being a universal condition. Russell’s critique has become the mainstream view, but it will be shown that from the first-person point of view, universal incapacity could not be any basis on which we could in practice modify our attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number242
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalActa Analytica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2015


  • Compatibilism
  • Paul Russell
  • Resentment
  • Strawson


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