Reactions to "The Blank Slate" (Part Two)

Some really interesting stuff in Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate about responsibility, free will and guilt:

“When we say that we hold someone responsible for a wrongful act, we expect him to punish himself – by compensating the victim, acquiescing to humiliation, incurring penalties, or expressing credible remorse – and we reserve the right to punish him ourselves. Unless a person is willing to suffer some unpleasant (and hence deterring) consequence, claims of responsibility are hollow. Richard Nixon was ridiculed when he bowed to pressure and finally “took responsibility” for the Watergate burglary but did not accept any costs such as apologizing, resigning, or firing his aides.”