Human Nature and Moral Responsibility
Holding others responsible for and responding resentfully to their wrongdoings are nearly universal practices. A very few philosophers and social activists appear to be the only ones who have ever adopted the idea that one should, seemingly against his nature as a human being, seek to completely abandon his “negative reactive attitudes”, as P.F. Strawson coined them in Freedom and Resentment. The notion that one should suspend all negative reactive attitudes such as anger and resentment is based on the idea of determinism: that all events, choices, and actions are causally determined and thus they cannot happen in any other way—every event is predestined and must occur as part of an immutable sequence of events. Strawson does not refer to a specific type of determinism, but perhaps an explanation of the reasoning behind the main conception of determinism will be helpful.