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  1. Holding Responsible and Taking Responsibility.Stephen Bero - 2020 - Law and Philosophy 39 (3):263-296.
    In matters of responsibility, there are often two sides to the transaction: one party who holds another responsible, and the other who takes responsibility for her conduct. The first side has been closely scrutinized in discussions of the nature of responsibility, due to the influential Strawsonian conjecture that an agent is responsible if and only if it is appropriate to hold her responsible. This preoccupation with holding responsible – with its focus on the second-personal perspective and on responses like blame (...)
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  • The Comparative Nonarbitrariness Norm of Blame.Daniel Telech & Hannah Tierney - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (1).
    Much has been written about the fittingness, epistemic, and standing norms that govern blame. In this paper, we argue that there exists a norm of blame that has yet to receive philosophical discussion and without which an account of the ethics of blame will be incomplete: a norm proscribing comparatively arbitrary blame. By reflecting on the objectionableness of comparatively arbitrary blame, we stand to elucidate a substantive, and thus far overlooked, norm governing our attributions of responsibility. Accordingly, our aim in (...)
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  • Basically Deserved Blame and its Value.Michael McKenna - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (3).
    How should we understand basic desert as a justification for blaming? Many philosophers account for free will by reference to the sort of moral responsibility that involves a blameworthy person deserving blame in a basic sense of desert; free will just is the control condition for this sort of moral responsibility. But what precisely does basic desert come to, and what is it about blame that makes it the thing that a blameworthy person deserves? As it turns out, there are (...)
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  • Reasonable Expectations, Moral Responsibility, and Empirical Data.Fernando Rudy-Hiller - 2020 - Philosophical Studies (10):2945-2968.
    Many philosophers think that a necessary condition on moral blameworthiness is that the wrongdoer can reasonably be expected to avoid the action for which she is blamed. Those who think so assume as a matter of course that the expectations at issue here are normative expectations that contrast with the non-normative or predictive expectations we form concerning the probable conduct of others, and they believe, or at least assume, that there is a clear-cut distinction between the two. In this paper (...)
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  • What Kind of Responsibility Do We Have for Fighting Injustice? A Moral-Theoretic Perspective on the Social Connections Model.Robin Zheng - 2019 - Critical Horizons 20 (2):109-126.
    Iris Marion Young’s influential Social Connections Model of responsibility offers a compelling approach to theorizing structural injustice. However, the precise nature of the kind of responsibility modelled by the SCM, along with its relationship to the liability model, has remained unclear. I offer a reading of Young that takes the difference between the liability model and the SCM to be an instance of a more longstanding distinction in the literature on moral responsibility: attributability vs. accountability. I show that interpreting the (...)
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  • The Attributionist Approach to Moral Luck.Matthew Talbert - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):24-41.
    Midwest Studies In Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Moral Responsibility, Guilt, and Retributivism.Randolph Clarke - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):121-137.
    This paper defends a minimal desert thesis, according to which someone who is blameworthy for something deserves to feel guilty, to the right extent, at the right time, because of her culpability. The sentiment or emotion of guilt includes a thought that one is blameworthy for something as well as an unpleasant affect. Feeling guilty is not a matter of inflicting suffering on oneself, and it need not involve any thought that one deserves to suffer. The desert of a feeling (...)
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  • Blame: Strangers and the Moral Relationship.Eric Brown - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):10-20.
    In his recent work, T.M. Scanlon has argued for a relationship based theory of blame. For Scanlon moral blame involves the modification of the moral relationship. He holds that this relationship obtains among all rational beings. George Sher has recently argued that Scanlon’s theory cannot account for blame between strangers. Following Sher, I argue that Scanlon’s account of blame precludes complete strangers and that his conception of the moral relationship is fundamentally inconsistent with his theory of blame generally. I contend (...)
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  • Responsibility: The State of the Question Fault Lines in the Foundations.David Shoemaker - 2020 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 58 (2):205-237.
    Explores five fault lines in the fledgling field of responsibility theory, serious methodological disputes traceable to P.F. Strawson's "Freedom and Resentment.".
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  • Moral Torch Fishing: A Signaling Theory of Blame.David Shoemaker & Manuel Vargas - 2019 - Noûs:online.
    It is notable that all of the leading theories of blame have to employ ungainly fixes to deflect one or more apparent counterexamples. What these theories share is a content‐based theory of blame's nature. Such approaches overlook or ignore blame's core unifying feature, namely, its function, which is to signal the blamer's commitment to a set of norms. In this paper, we present the problems with the extant theories and then explain what signaling is, how it functions in blame, why (...)
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  • A Comprehensive Account of Blame: Self-Blame, Non-Moral Blame, and Blame for the Non-Voluntary.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In Andreas Brekke Carlsson (ed.), Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge:
    Blame is multifarious. It can be passionate or dispassionate. It can be expressed or kept private. We blame both the living and the dead. And we blame ourselves as well as others. What’s more, we blame ourselves, not only for our moral failings, but also for our non-moral failings: for our aesthetic bad taste, gustatory self-indulgence, or poor athletic performance. And we blame ourselves both for things over which we exerted agential control (e.g., our voluntary acts) and for things over (...)
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  • Reverse‐Engineering Blame 1.Paulina Sliwa - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):200-219.
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  • Luck’s Mischief and the Prescriptive Burden.Kelly McCormick - 2017 - Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (3):297-313.
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  • There is a Distinctively Epistemic Kind of Blame.Cameron Boult - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Is there a distinctively epistemic kind of blame? It has become commonplace for epistemologists to talk about epistemic blame, and to rely on this notion for theoretical purposes. But not everyone is convinced. Some of the most compelling reasons for skepticism about epistemic blame focus on disanologies, or asymmetries, between the moral and epistemic domains. In this paper, I defend the idea that there is a distinctively epistemic kind of blame. I do so primarily by developing an account of the (...)
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  • Hypocrisy, Standing to Blame and Second‐Personal Authority.Adam Piovarchy - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    This paper identifies why hypocrites lack the standing to blame others for certain wrongs. I first examine previous analyses of 'standing', and note these attempts all centre around the idea of entitlement. I then argue that thinking of standing to blame as a purely moral entitlement faces numerous problems. By examining how the concept of standing is used in other contexts, I argue that we should think of standing to blame in partly metaphysical terms. That is, we should think of (...)
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  • Fairness, Sanction, and Condemnation.Pamela Hieronymi - manuscript
    I here press an often overlooked question: Why does the fairness of a sanction require an adequate opportunity to avoid it? By pressing this question, I believe I have come to better understand something that has long puzzled me, namely, what philosophers (and others) might have in mind when they talk about “true moral responsibility,” or the “condemnatory force” of moral blame, or perhaps even “basic desert.” In presenting this understanding of “condemnation” or of “basic desert,” I am presenting an (...)
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  • Merciful Demand.Jeffrey Hause - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 6 (1).
    In the late twelfth and early thirteenth century, increasingly sophisticated ethical thought made its way out of the theology texts and into pastoral guides and sermons, making it possible for a greater number of ethically informed lay people to share pastoral responsibility. One exercise of this responsibility was fraternal correction, through which a person, motivated by charity, rebukes a neighbor for his or her wrongdoing. This essay argues that the practice of fraternal correction is in fact a sort of blaming, (...)
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  • Psychopathy and Responsibility Theory.Paul Litton - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (8):676-688.
    Psychopathy presents a difficult challenge to moral and criminal responsibility theorists. Persons with the disorder have an impaired capacity for empathy and other moral emotions, and fail to feel the force of moral considerations. They have some rational impairments, but they reason adequately to manipulate, con, and exploit their victims, and otherwise to engage successfully in antisocial behavior. Is it appropriate to hold them morally responsible for their wrongdoing? Should the law hold psychopaths criminally responsible? This essay discusses philosophical debates (...)
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  • A Defence of the Control Principle.Martin Sand - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-11.
    The nexus of the moral luck debate is the control principle, which says that people are responsible only for things within their control. In this paper, I will first argue that the control principle should be restrained to blameworthiness, because responsibility is too wide a concept to square with control. Many deniers of moral luck appeal to the intuitiveness of the control principle. Defenders of moral luck do not share this intuition and demand a stronger defence of the control principle. (...)
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  • Criticism as Conversation 1.Daniela Dover - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):26-61.
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  • Reflection and Responsibility.Pamela Hieronymi - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 42 (1):3-41.
    A common line of thought claims that we are responsible for ourselves and our actions, while less sophisticated creatures are not, because we are, and they are not, self-aware. Our self-awareness is thought to provide us with a kind of control over ourselves that they lack: we can reflect upon ourselves, upon our thoughts and actions, and so ensure that they are as we would have them to be. Thus, our capacity for reflection provides us with the control over ourselves (...)
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  • Scaffolding Agency: A Proleptic Account of the Reactive Attitudes.Victoria McGeer - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):301-323.
    This paper examines the methodological claim made famous by P.F. Strawson: that we understand what features are required for responsible agency by exploring our attitudes and practices of holding responsible. What is the presumed metaphysical connection between holding responsible and being fit to be held responsible that makes this claim credible? I propose a non-standard answer to this question, arguing for a view of responsible agency that is neither anti-realist (i.e. purely 'conventionalist') nor straightforwardly realist. It is instead ‘constructivist’. On (...)
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  • Firm Responses to Mass Outrage: Technology, Blame, and Employment.Vikram R. Bhargava - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 163 (3):379-400.
    When an employee’s off-duty conduct generates mass social media outrage, managers commonly respond by firing the employee. This, I argue, can be a mistake. The thesis I defend is the following: the fact that a firing would occur in a mass social media outrage context brought about by the employee’s off-duty conduct generates a strong ethical reason weighing against the act. In particular, it contributes to the firing constituting an inappropriate act of blame. Scholars who caution against firing an employee (...)
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  • Compatibilism and Moral Claimancy: An Intermediate Path to Appropriate Blame.Seth Shabo - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):158-186.
    In this paper, I explore a new approach to the problem of determinism and moral responsibility. This approach involves asking when someone has a compelling claim to exemption against other members of the moral community. I argue that it is sometimes fair to reject such claims, even when the agent doesn’t deserve, in the sense of basic desert, to be blamed for her conduct. In particular, when an agent’s conduct reveals that her commitment to comply with the standards of the (...)
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  • Revisiting Strawsonian Arguments From Inescapability.Szigeti Andras - 2012 - Philosophica 85 (2):91-121.
    Peter Strawson defends the thesis that determinism is irrelevant to the justifiability of responsibility-attributions. In this paper, I want to examine various arguments advanced by Strawson in support of this thesis. These arguments all draw on the thought that the practice of responsibility is inescapable. My main focus is not so much the metaphysical details of Strawsonian compatibilism, but rather the more fundamental idea that x being inescapable may be reason for us to regard x as justified. I divide Strawsonian (...)
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  • Reasons and Normativity.Jakob Green Werkmäster - 2019 - Dissertation, Lund University
    Normative reasons are of constant importance to us as agents trying to navigate through life. For this reason it is natural and vital to ask philosophical questions about reasons and the normative realm. This thesis explores various issues concerning reasons and normativity. The thesis consists of five free-standingpapers and an extended introduction. The aim of the extended introduction is not merely to situate the papers within a wider philosophical context but also to provide an overview of some of the central (...)
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  • A Defense of Angry Blame.Lyn Alison Radke - 2019 - Dissertation, Vanderbilt University
    While blame is not a difficult practice to defend, in part because of its ineradicability in our moral lives, angry blame has been a tougher sell. Critics of angry blame cast it as an unnecessary, punitive, or unproductive practiceâone that should be either avoided or abandoned altogether. Against these views, I argue that anger has positive moral value and should remain on the table in our blaming practices. The argument proceeds by identifying a specific mode of angry blameâwhat I call (...)
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  • Blameworthiness as Deserved Guilt.Andreas Carlsson - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):89-115.
    It is often assumed that we are only blameworthy for that over which we have control. In recent years, however, several philosophers have argued that we can be blameworthy for occurrences that appear to be outside our control, such as attitudes, beliefs and omissions. This has prompted the question of why control should be a condition on blameworthiness. This paper aims at defending the control condition by developing a new conception of blameworthiness: To be blameworthy, I argue, is most fundamentally (...)
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  • Reasons and Oughts: An Explanation and Defence of Deontic Buck-Passing.Euan Hans Metz - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Reading
    This thesis is about what a normative reason is and how reasons relate to oughts. I argue that normative reasons are to be understood as relational properties of favouring or disfavouring. I then examine the question: What is the relation between reasons, so understood, and what we ought to do, believe, or feel? I argue that the relation is an explanatory one. We should explain what we ought to do in terms of reasons, and not the other way around. This (...)
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  • Irrational Blame.Hanna Pickard - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):613-626.
    I clarify some ambiguities in blame-talk and argue that blame's potential for irrationality and propensity to sting vitiates accounts of blame that identify it with consciously accessible, personal-level judgements or beliefs. Drawing on the cognitive psychology of emotion and appraisal theory, I develop an account of blame that accommodates these features. I suggest that blame consists in a range of hostile, negative first-order emotions, towards which the blamer has a specific, accompanying second-order attitude, namely, a feeling of entitlement—a feeling that (...)
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  • In Defense of Doxastic Blame.Lindsay Rettler - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2205-2226.
    In this paper I articulate a view of doxastic control that helps defend the legitimacy of our practice of blaming people for their beliefs. I distinguish between three types of doxastic control: intention-based, reason-based, and influence-based. First I argue that, although we lack direct intention-based control over our beliefs, such control is not necessary for legitimate doxastic blame. Second, I suggest that we distinguish two types of reason-responsiveness: sensitivity to reasons and appreciation of reasons. I argue that while both capacities (...)
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  • Opting for the Best: Oughts and Options.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The book concerns what I take to be the least controversial normative principle concerning action: you ought to perform your best option—best, that is, in terms of whatever ultimately matters. The book sets aside the question of what ultimately matters so as to focus on more basic issues, such as: What are our options? Do I have the option of typing out the cure for cancer if that’s what I would in fact do if I had the right intentions at (...)
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  • The Emotion Account of Blame.Leonhard Menges - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (1):257-273.
    For a long time the dominant view on the nature of blame was that to blame someone is to have an emotion toward her, such as anger, resentment or indignation in the case of blaming someone else and guilt in the case of self-blame. Even though this view is still widely held, it has recently come under heavy attack. The aim of this paper is to elaborate the idea that to blame is to have an emotion and to defend the (...)
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  • Shame and Attributability.Andreas Brekke Carlsson - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, vol. 6.
    Responsibility as accountability is normally taken to have stricter control conditions than responsibility as attributability. A common way to argue for this claim is to point to differences in the harmfulness of blame involved in these different kinds of responsibility. This paper argues that this explanation does not work once we shift our focus from other-directed blame to self-blame. To blame oneself in the accountability sense is to feel guilt and feeling guilty is to suffer. To blame oneself in the (...)
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  • Character and Blame in Hume and Beyond.Antti Kauppinen - 2016 - In Iskra Fileva (ed.), Questions of Character. Oxford University Press.
    Are we really to blame only for actions that manifest our character, as Hume claims? In this paper, I explore Hume's reasoning and the nature of blame in general. I suggest that insofar as blame comes in a relational variety as well as the more familiar reactive one, there may be something to be said for linking blame with character flaws after all.
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  • Non-Distributive Blameworthiness.Thomas H. Smith - 2009 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt1):31-60.
    I adapt an old example of Frank Jackson's, in order to show that it is not only possible that actions with different individual agents are sub-optimal when each is not, but that they are impermissible when each is not, and blameworthy when each is not.
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  • Moral Responsibility, Voluntary Control, and Intentional Action.Kyle Fritz - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):831-855.
    Many theorists writing about moral responsibility accept that voluntary control is necessary for responsibility. Call such theorists volitionists. Recently, volitionism has been called into question by theorists I call nonvolitionists. Yet neither volitionists nor nonvolitionists have carefully articulated a clear volitionist thesis, nor have they sufficiently explained the concept of voluntary control that somehow seems connected to volitionism. I argue that attempts to explain the volitionist thesis, voluntary control, and their relation are more problematic than have previously been recognized. Instead, (...)
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  • Disentangling the Will.Richard Holton - 2010 - In Al Mele, Kathleen Vohs & Roy Baumeister (eds.), Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? Oxford University Press. pp. 82.
    It is argued that there are at least three things bundled up in the idea of free will: the capacity manifested by agents whenever they act freely; the property possessed by those actions for which an agent in morally responsible; and the ability to do otherwise. This paper attempts some disentangling.
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  • Mere Moral Failure.Julie Tannenbaum - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):58-84.
    When, in spite of our good intentions, we fail to meet our obligations to others, it is important that we have the correct theoretical description of what has happened so that mutual understanding and the right sort of social repair can occur. Consider an agent who promises to help pick a friend up from the airport. She takes the freeway, forgetting that it is under construction. After a long wait, the friend takes an expensive taxi ride home. Most theorists and (...)
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  • Desert, Fairness, and Resentment.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):1-16.
    Responsibility, blameworthiness in particular, has been characterized in a number of ways in a literature in which participants appear to be talking about the same thing much of the time. More specifically, blameworthiness has been characterized in terms of what sorts of responses are fair, appropriate, and deserved in a basic way, where the responses in question range over blame, sanctions, alterations to interpersonal relationships, and the reactive attitudes, such as resentment and indignation. In this paper, I explore the relationships (...)
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  • Responsibility, Rational Abilities, and Two Kinds of Fairness Arguments.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):151 – 165.
    In this paper, I begin by considering a traditional argument according to which it would be unfair to impose sanctions on people for performing actions when they could not do otherwise, and thus that no one who lacks the ability to do otherwise is responsible or blameworthy for his or her actions in an important sense. Interestingly, a parallel argument concluding that people are not responsible or praiseworthy if they lack the ability to do otherwise is not as compelling. Watson, (...)
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  • Did Alexander Fleming Deserve the Nobel Prize?Martin Sand - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (2):899-919.
    Penicillin is a serendipitous discovery par excellence. But, what does this say about Alexander Fleming’s praiseworthiness? Clearly, Fleming would not have received the Nobel Prize, had not a mould accidently entered his laboratory. This seems paradoxical, since it was beyond his control. The present article will first discuss Fleming’s discovery of Penicillin as an example of moral luck in science and technology and critically assess some common responses to this problem. Second, the Control Principle that says that people are not (...)
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  • The Physiognomy of Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):381-417.
    Our aim in this paper is to put the concept of moral responsibility under a microscope. At the lowest level of magnification, it appears unified. But Gary Watson has taught us that if we zoom in, we will find that moral responsibility has two faces: attributability and accountability. Or, to describe the two faces in different terms, there is a difference between being responsible and holding responsible. It is one thing to talk about the connection the agent has with her (...)
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  • Private Blame.Julia Driver - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (2):215-220.
    This paper explores a problem for Michael McKenna’s conversation model of moral responsibility that views blame as characteristically part of a conversational exchange. The problem for this model on which this paper focuses is the problem of private blame. Sometimes when we blame we do so without any intention to engage in a communicative exchange. It is argued that McKenna’s model cannot adequately account for private blame.
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  • Blameworthiness and the Affective Account of Blame.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (4):1299-1312.
    One of the most influential accounts of blame—the affective account—takes its cue from P.F. Strawson’s discussion of the reactive attitudes. To blame someone, on this account, is to target her with resentment, indignation, or (in the case of self-blame) guilt. Given the connection between these emotions and the demand for regard that is arguably central to morality, the affective account is quite plausible. Recently, however, George Sher has argued that the affective account of blame, as understood both by Strawson himself (...)
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  • Sher’s Defense of Blame. [REVIEW]Pamela Hieronymi - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):19-30.
    In his In Praise of Blame, George Sher aims to provide an analysis and defense of blame. In fact, he aims to provide an analysis that will itself yield a defense by allowing him to argue that morality and blame "stand or fall together." He thus opposes anyone who recommends jettisoning blame while preserving (the rest of) morality. In this comment, I examine Sher's defense of blame. Though I am much in sympathy with Sher's strategy of defending blame by providing (...)
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  • Dealing with the Past: Responsibility and Personal History.Kyla Ebels-Duggan - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):141-161.
    I argue that unfortunate formative circumstances do not undermine the warrant for either responsibility or blame. I then diagnose the tendency to think that formative circumstances do matter in this way, arguing that knowledge of these circumstances can play an essential epistemic role in our interpersonal interactions.
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  • “Screw You!” & “Thank You”.Coleen Macnamara - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):893-914.
    If I do you a good turn, you may respond with gratitude and express that gratitude by saying “Thank you.” Similarly, if I insult you, you may react with resentment which you express by shouting, “Screw you!” or something of the sort. Broadly put, when confronted with another’s morally significant conduct, we are inclined to respond with a reactive attitude and to express that reactive attitude in speech. A number of familiar speech acts have a call-and-response structure. Questions, demands and (...)
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  • Two Faces of Desert.Matt King - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (3):401-424.
    There are two broadly competing pictures of moral responsibility. On the view I favor, to be responsible for some action is to be related to it in such a way that licenses attributing certain properties to the agent, properties like blameworthiness and praiseworthiness. Responsibility is attributability. A different view understands being responsible in terms of our practices of holding each other responsible. Responsibility is accountability, which “involves a social setting in which we demand (require) certain conduct from one another and (...)
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  • Inadequate Agency and Appropriate Anger.Daphne Brandenburg - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):169-185.
    Communication and cultivation accounts of responsibility argue that blaming has an important communicative and agency-cultivating function when addressed at someone we consider to be deserving of blame. On these accounts, responsible agents are agents who can understand negative reactive attitudes and are sensitive to their moral-agency cultivating function. In this paper I examine our reproachful engagements with agents whose moral agency is underdeveloped or compromised. I discuss how these engagements compare to blaming on CC accounts and argue reproachful engagements can (...)
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