"Since the 1980s, an appeal to an inexamined notion of personalresponsibility has increasingly driven public policy, usually in apunitive direction. At the same time, philosophers have beenworrying about the problem that, if human actions arise fromnatural causes, it may be mistaken to hold anybody responsible foranything. Matt Matravers explains the course of the philosophicaldebate about this extremely lucidly, but his great achievement isto show how the philosophers' worries bear on the way in which weshould think about policy questions. The discussion is subtle, butalways easy to follow."
Brian Barry, Emeritus Professor, Columbia University andLondon School of Economics
"Matravers provides a stimulating introduction to the complexmodern debates about free will and responsibility, on which hegrounds an illuminating and provocative argument about thesignificance of those debates for our practices of distributive andretributive justice. Students will come to understand howtheoretically and normatively problematic those practices are.Theorists and practitioners already familiar with the issuesdiscussed will be challenged to articulate a philosophicallydefensible conception of responsibility that could structure moremorally adequate social, legal and political practices."
Antony Duff, University of Stirling
"This short but ambitious book will provide an excellentadvanced introduction to some of the most important debates inmoral, legal and political philosophy and an important contributionto debates about redistribution and retribution that extend beyondthe academy. Matravers’s conclusions are challenging butimportant. This book should be widely read."
Paul Kelly, London School of Economics