Saul Smilanky aims to refute the traditional compatibilist view that ‘determinism does not really change anything, morally’ (2007: 348). His argument runs as follows. Assume determinism plus complete predictability. Then ‘the compatibilist does not have a strong principled objection’ (348) to prepunishing someone who we now know will commit a crime in a week, since they will commit the crime of their own free will, and hence will be morally responsible for it, and hence liable to blame and punishment. There is no need to wait in case they change their mind, since we already know that they will not. But the common-sense view is that prepunishment ‘runs counter to the idea of respect for persons’ (348). So compatibilism is not, in fact, compatible with our ordinary intuitions about punishment. And this means that compatibilism must be false, since it is false that ‘determinism does...

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