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No such thing as moral responsibility

The critic Belinsky intuitively agreed with Dostoevksy him that there was no such thing as moral responsibility.

In Dostoevksy's day – the peasantry – had the unique habit of calling convicts ‘unfortunates’; and this might seem to exonerate malefactors from blame for their wrong-doing. But Dostoevsky objects that the term ‘unfortunate’ derives from a Christian sense of co-responsibility for sin and hence crime; the people felt themselves to be sharing the moral burden of the crime, and for this reason looked on the criminal with compassion. 

The reaction from left leaning critics was to refer to  Dostoevsky as a cruel person and that his talent was created ‘in the shadow of the divine 'Marquis’ (de Sade)

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