Do you deserve to be talented?

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Are inborn characteristics deserved or undeserved? Using Bertrand Russell's theory of descriptions and Peter Strawson's objection to this theory, I argue that this question does not make sense. In order to know whether a person deserves something she has, it is necessary to evaluate what she did before having it. But people did not exist before their birth, so they did not exist before having their inborn characteristics. Therefore, talking about people deserving their inborn characteristics does not make sense: these characteristics are neither deserved nor undeserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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