Philosophy: The nature of persons
Philosophy: The nature of persons

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Philosophy: The nature of persons

3 Peter Strawson: ‘Freedom and resentment’

Reading Strawson

Peter Strawson's paper, ‘Freedom and resentment’ did much to change the direction of the debate surrounding determinism. Strawson, as you will see, divides his paper into numbered sections. This is because he has a reasonably small number of relatively discrete points to make, and the sections help the reader to see where the discussion begins and ends. This is not the only way of doing this; you might prefer to use explicit signposting within the text; for example, using phrases such as: ‘Having established that whatever, let us move on to discuss whatever else’. For the purposes of this course, the paragraphs within the sections have been numbered. So when I refer to, for example, III:2, I mean the second paragraph of section III. I am going to give a detailed reading of Strawson's paper, solving problems where we can and noting down those that deserve further consideration. I would like to establish a sense of the shape of the paper, to track the way in which Strawson develops his argument.

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