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Conversation and Responsibility

Oxford University Press USA (2011)

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  1. Blame and the Humean Theory of Motivation.Adam R. Thompson - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1345-1364.
    A classic, though basically neglected question about motivation arises when we attempt to account for blame’s nature—namely, does the recognition central to blame need help from an independent desire in order to motivate the blame-characteristic dispositions that arise in the blamer? Those who have attended to the question think the answer is yes. Hence, they adopt what I call a Humean Construal of blame on which blame is (a) a judgment that an individual S is blameworthy and (b) an independent (...)
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  • Circumstantial Ignorance and Mitigated Blameworthiness.Daniel J. Miller - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (1):33-43.
    It is intuitive that circumstantial ignorance, even when culpable, can mitigate blameworthiness for morally wrong behavior. In this paper I suggest an explanation of why this is so. The explanation offered is that an agent’s degree of blameworthiness for some action depends at least in part upon the quality of will expressed in that action, and that an agent’s level of awareness when performing a morally wrong action can make a difference to the quality of will that is expressed 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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  • Being More Blameworthy.D. Justin Coates - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (3):233-246.
    In this paper I explore graded attributions of blameworthiness—that is, judgments of the general sort, "A is more blameworthy for x-ing than B is," or "A is less blameworthy for her character than B is." In so doing, I aim to provide a philosophical basis for the widespread, if not completely articulate, practice of altering the degree to which we hold others responsible on the basis of facts about them or facts about their environments. To vindicate this practice, I disambiguate (...)
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  • Punishment and Forgiveness.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2016 - In Jonathan Jacobs & Jonathan Jackson (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics. Routledge. pp. 203-216.
    In this paper we explore the relationship between forgiving and punishment. We set out a number of arguments for the claim that if one forgives a wrongdoer, one should not punish her. We then argue that none of these arguments is persuasive. We conclude by reflecting on the possibility of institutional forgiveness in the criminal justice setting and on the differences between forgiveness and acts of mercy.
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  • Articulate Forgiveness and Normative Constraints.Brandon Warmke - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):1-25.
    Philosophers writing on forgiveness typically defend the Resentment Theory of Forgiveness, the view that forgiveness is the overcoming of resentment. Rarely is much more said about the nature of resentment or how it is overcome when one forgives. Pamela Hieronymi, however, has advanced detailed accounts both of the nature of resentment and how one overcomes resentment when one forgives. In this paper, I argue that Hieronymi’s account of the nature of forgiveness is committed to two implausible claims about the norms (...)
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  • Resisting Tracing's Siren Song.Craig Agule - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 10 (1):1-24.
    Drunk drivers and other culpably incapacitated wrongdoers are often taken to pose a problem for reasons-responsiveness accounts of moral responsibility. These accounts predicate moral responsibility upon an agent having the capacities to perceive and act upon moral reasons, and the culpably incapacitated wrongdoers lack exactly those capacities at the time of their wrongdoing. Many reasons-responsiveness advocates thus expand their account of responsibility to include a tracing condition: The culpably incapacitated wrongdoer is blameworthy despite his incapacitation precisely because he is responsible (...)
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  • Explaining (Away) the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press. pp. 146–162.
    It is clear that lack of awareness of the consequences of an action can undermine moral responsibility and blame for these consequences. But when and how it does so is controversial. Sometimes an agent believing that the outcome might occur is excused because it seemed unlikely to her, and sometimes an agent having no idea that it would occur is nevertheless to blame. A low or zero degree of belief might seem to excuse unless the agent “should have known better”, (...)
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  • A Unified Account of the Moral Standing to Blame.Patrick Todd - 2017 - Noûs:347-374.
    Recently, philosophers have turned their attention to the question, not when a given agent is blameworthy for what she does, but when a further agent has the moral standing to blame her for what she does. Philosophers have proposed at least four conditions on having “moral standing”: -/- 1. One’s blame would not be “hypocritical”. 2. One is not oneself “involved in” the target agent’s wrongdoing. 3. One must be warranted in believing that the target is indeed blameworthy for the (...)
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  • Explaining Away Epistemic Skepticism About Culpability.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Shoemaker David (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 141–164.
    Recently, a number of authors have suggested that the epistemic condition on moral responsibility makes blameworthiness much less common than we ordinarily suppose, and much harder to identify. This paper argues that such epistemically based responsibility skepticism is mistaken. Section 2 sketches a general account of moral responsibility, building on the Strawsonian idea that blame and credit relates to the agent’s quality of will. Section 3 explains how this account deals with central cases that motivate epistemic skepticism and how it (...)
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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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  • On Individual and Shared Obligations: In Defense of the Activist’s Perspective.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Mark Budolfson, Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press.
    We naturally attribute obligations to groups, and take such obligations to have consequences for the obligations of group members. The threat posed by anthropogenic climate change provides an urgent case. It seems that we, together, have an obligation to prevent climate catastrophe, and that we, as individuals, have an obligation to contribute. However, understood strictly, attributions of obligations to groups might seem illegitimate. On the one hand, the groups in question—the people alive today, say—are rarely fully-fledged moral agents, making it (...)
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  • Is Blameworthiness Forever?Andrew C. Khoury & Benjamin Matheson - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):204-224.
    Many of those working on moral responsibility assume that "once blameworthy, always blameworthy." They believe that blameworthiness is like diamonds: it is forever. We argue that blameworthiness is not forever; rather, it can diminish through time. We begin by showing that the view that blameworthiness is forever is best understood as the claim that personal identity is sufficient for diachronic blameworthiness. We argue that this view should be rejected because it entails that blameworthiness for past action is completely divorced from (...)
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  • Schizophrenia and Moral Responsibility: A Kantian Essay.Matthé Scholten - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (1):205-225.
    In this paper, I give a Kantian answer to the question whether and why it would be inappropriate to blame people suffering from mental disorders that fall within the schizophrenia spectrum. I answer this question by reconstructing Kant’s account of mental disorder, in particular his explanation of psychotic symptoms. Kant explains these symptoms in terms of various types of cognitive impairment. I show that this explanation is plausible and discuss Kant’s claim that the unifying feature of the symptoms is 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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  • How Not to Defend Moral Blame.Andreas Leonhard Menges - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-7.
    At first sight, moral blame is an unpleasant thing. No one likes being blamed and few people like experiencing the negative emotions associated with blaming others. Therefore, some suggest a radical reform of our everyday moral life: We should replace our tendency to blame wrongdoers with a tendency to criticize them in a less harmful and more productive way. The blameless fight for the good by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi may exemplify this alternative. Many philosophers, however, think (...)
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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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  • Agency and Resentment: Reinterpreting Strawson's Compatibilism.Bobby Bingle - unknown
    In his influential work, “Freedom and Resentment,” P.F. Strawson argues that the truth of determinism would be irrelevant to our moral responsibility practices, since our commitment to these practices is somehow connected to both our reactive attitudes—e.g. resentment, gratitude, and love—and participation in interpersonal relationships. However, some of the moves made by Strawson in his work remain unclear. In this paper, I address three prominent attempts to explain these moves, and contend that none of them captures his view because they (...)
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  • Responsibility, Reaction, and Value.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2010 - Journal of Ethics 14 (2):103-115.
    Many writers accept the following thesis about responsibility: (R) For one to be responsible for something is for one to be such that it is fitting that one be the object of some reactive attitude with respect to that thing. This thesis bears a striking resemblance to a thesis about value that is also accepted by many writers: (V) For something to be good (or neutral, or bad) is for it to be such that it is fitting that it be (...)
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  • The Nature and Ethics of Blame.D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (3):197-207.
    Blame is usually discussed in the context of the free will problem, but recently moral philosophers have begun to examine it on its own terms. If, as many suppose, free will is to be understood as the control relevant to moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is to be understood in terms of whether blame is appropriate, then an independent inquiry into the nature and ethics of blame will be essential to solving (and, perhaps, even fully understanding) the free will problem. (...)
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  • Free Will and the Construction of Options.Chandra Sripada - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):2913-2933.
    What are the distinctive psychological features that explain why humans are free, but many other creatures, such as simple animals, are not? It is natural to think that the answer has something to do with unique human capacities for decision-making. Philosophical discussions of how decision-making works, however, are tellingly incomplete. In particular, these discussions invariably presuppose an agent who has a mentally represented set of options already fully in hand. The emphasis is largely on the selective processes that identify the (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility, Manipulation Arguments, and History: Assessing the Resilience of Nonhistorical Compatibilism. [REVIEW]Michael McKenna - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):145-174.
    Manipulation arguments for incompatibilism all build upon some example or other in which an agent is covertly manipulated into acquiring a psychic structure on the basis of which she performs an action. The featured agent, it is alleged, is manipulated into satisfying conditions compatibilists would take to be sufficient for acting freely. Such an example used in the context of an argument for incompatibilism is meant to elicit the intuition that, due to the pervasiveness of the manipulation, the agent does (...)
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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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  • Defending Conversation and Responsibility: Reply to Dana Nelkin and Holly Smith.Michael McKenna - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (1):73-84.
    In this paper, I defend the central arguments of my book Conversation and Responsibility in response to two critics, Dana Nelkin and Holly Smith.
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  • Justification, Coercion, and the Place of Public Reason.Chad Van Schoelandt - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1031-1050.
    Public reason accounts commonly claim that exercises of coercive political power must be justified by appeal to reasons accessible to all citizens. Such accounts are vulnerable to the objection that they cannot legitimate coercion to protect basic liberal rights against infringement by deeply illiberal people. This paper first elaborates the distinctive interpersonal conception of justification in public reason accounts in contrast to impersonal forms of justification. I then detail a core dissenter-based objection to public reason based on a worrisome example (...)
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