I was doing some research into compatibalism, incompatibalism, and its implications for moral responsibility, and came across Ted Honderich and his 'attitudinism'. He looks at compatibalism and incompatibalism as views that you cannot properly justify to exist individually, saying that we should take an attitude of 'affirmation' towards the existence of both:

Affirmation differs wholly from both in that it recognizes the existence of two attitudes where Compatibilism and Incompatibilism assert a single conception and a single connection with moral responsibility and the like. (Honderich, 1990, p. 149)

He affirms that we have the ability to conceive two kinds of 'life hopes', where compatibalists and incompatibalists are wrong to believe that there is only one conception of free will.

What I don't really understand is what this attitude means for moral responsibility. It is obvious for compatibalism and incompataiblism - compatibalists would generally say that moral responsibility is not at stake, whereas incompatibalists would say it is. What would Honderich's view suggest about moral responsibility then?

Am I missing something?

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    Information Philosopher gives a nice review of his views. It is a rare combination of determinist views on metaphysics (he is, basically, a hard determinist) with libertarian sensibilities on ethics:"We have a kind of life-hope which is incompatible with a belief in determinism." But "he says that moral responsibility is not all that is at stake, there are personal feelings, reactive attitudes, problems of knowledge, and rationalizing punishment with ideas of limited responsibility."
    – Conifold
    Aug 23, 2019 at 2:54
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    I think it means that the emotive basis of responsibility will be there regardless of whether determinism is true, that there is a cognitive dissonance between our emotional aspirations and what determinism rationally entails (as libertarian incompatibilists hold), but he argues that "determinism-where-it-matters" is intellectually forced upon us by physics (as compatibilists and hard determinists hold).
    – Conifold
    Aug 23, 2019 at 8:03
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    Yes, on the responsibility he is close to compatibilists. Unlike to them, though, to him this does not mean that we already have all the "free will worth having". In fact, we do not. In that, he is with libertarians. The very dependence on attitudes that makes the responsibility possible regardless also creates the loss of value that does not exist for "rationalists" on both sides. Because they tie the responsibility, the value and the truth into a single package, pick one, and advise us to adjust our attitudes accordingly.
    – Conifold
    Aug 23, 2019 at 17:47
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    @Conifold In what way is he 'with the libertarians'? In that free will can be exercised by humans as free agents (despite him being a hard determinist)? Also, what is this 'loss of value' you mention? Don't the 'rationalists' on both sides have a loss of value as well? For example, incompatibalists have the 'loss of value' of the freedom to originate actions, while compatibalists arguably have the 'loss of value' of logical explanation for their intransigent stance on free will. I'm mainly trying to understand how Honderich justifies moral responsibility through his stance of attitudinism. Aug 24, 2019 at 3:15
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    In that libertarian free will is valuable rather than an illusion to be shaken off, hence the loss of value from not having it. The kind of "justification" rationalists provide depends on having the package, to Honderich the responsibility needs (or has) no justification, it just is there, along with the attitudes. It is similar to the dissolution of normative concerns in evolutionary ethics: the norms are not justified by reasons, they are caused by natural selection. A "justification" of a different sort.
    – Conifold
    Aug 24, 2019 at 3:24


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