What's a better way of saying "removes responsibility"?

Hard determinism's ______ of responsibility is a fundamental problem for society, as our current punishment systems rely upon individuals having moral choice and culpability.

This ______ of responsibility carries worrying implications

I thought already of "alleviation", "assuagement" but I know that there's a far better alternative that's almost specifically for responsibility, but I can't seem to recall it.

Hard determinism is a philosophical branch which states that everyone's actions are caused by prior events outside of their control.

Therefore, no one ever makes a truly "free" choice, and ultimately someone's actions can be predicted if one were to know all prior causes.

This removes responsibility from the individual.

  • You might ask in the philosophy site. philosophy.stackexchange.com
    – user66974
    Feb 5, 2017 at 22:39
  • @Josh maybe, but I've been ruthlessly attacked for crossposting before, and I feel like this should also be on-topic here, as it isn't necessarily philosophy
    – minseong
    Feb 5, 2017 at 22:40
  • I am not sure it is 100% ELU either.
    – user66974
    Feb 5, 2017 at 22:41
  • @Josh why isn't it?
    – minseong
    Feb 5, 2017 at 22:43
  • 1
    I think it relies on the specific knowledge of the HD philosophy, and it is not clear what you are actually looking for.
    – user66974
    Feb 5, 2017 at 22:45

3 Answers 3


Abnegation, perhaps?

abnegation noun

  1. [mass noun] The action of renouncing or rejecting something:

    • abnegation of political power

Oxford Dictionaries


Sounds like renunciation.

Hard determinism's renunciation of responsibility is a fundamental problem for society, as our current punishment systems rely upon individuals having moral choice and culpability.

This renunciation of responsibility carries worrying implications.


renunciation NOUN

1 [mass noun] The formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action:
‘the life of the Spirit required renunciation of marriage’
[count noun] ‘a renunciation of violence’


This isn't precisely the definition you gave, but in practice, the following phrase is used for what you described:

denial of responsibility

  1. an assertion that an allegation is false.
  2. refusal to believe a doctrine.
  3. disbelief in the existence or reality of a thing.
  4. the refusal to satisfy a claim, request, etc., or the refusal of a person making it.
  5. refusal to recognize or acknowledge: Peter's denial of Christ.
  6. Law. a plea that denies the alleged facts of an adversary's plea.
  7. self-denial.
  8. Psychol. the reduction of anxiety by the unconscious exclusion from the mind of intolerable thoughts, feelings, or facts: who are alcoholics in denial.


And the verb: So-and-so denies any responsibility whatsoever.

  • I almost downvoted this, but it looks like the conversation in the comments of the OP has been deleted. "Denial" won't work for me as it is like hard determinism actively tries to remove responsibility, which it can't, it's just that its implications are that it seems to remove responsibility from the individual.
    – minseong
    Feb 7, 2017 at 7:48
  • erasure, abolition, elimination, eradication, dismissal, negation, desertion, retreat (from), dismissal (of), departure (from), disintegration (of).... Feb 8, 2017 at 3:46

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