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Accountability and Desert

The Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):173-189 (2016)

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  1. 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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  • Guilt, Grief, and the Good.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (1):173-191.
    :In this essay, I consider a particular version of the thesis that the blameworthy deserve to suffer, namely, that they deserve to feel guilty to the proper degree. Two further theses have been thought to explicate and support the thesis, one that appeals to the non-instrumental goodness of the blameworthy receiving what they deserve, and the other that appeals to the idea that being blameworthy provides reason to promote the blameworthy receiving what they deserve. I call the first "Good-Guilt" and (...)
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  • Duties, Desert, and the Justification of Punishment.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2019 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 13 (3):425-438.
    In this essay, I assess what I call the “Duty View,” subtly articulated and defended by Victor Tadros in Wrongs and Crimes. According to the Duty View, wrongdoers incur enforceable duties, including the duty to be punished in some circumstances, in virtue of their wrongdoing; therefore, punishment can be justified simply on the ground that wrongdoers’ duties are being legitimately enforced. I argue that, while wrongdoers do incur important duties, these are not necessarily fulfilled by providing protection against future offenses, (...)
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  • Self-Defense, Deterrence, and the Use Objection: A Comment on Victor Tadros’s Wrongs and Crimes.Derk Pereboom - 2019 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 13 (3):439-454.
    In Wrongs and Crimes, Victor Tadros argues that wrongdoers acquire special duties to those they’ve wronged, and from there he generates wrongdoers’ duties to contribute to general deterrence by being punished. In support, he contends that my manipulation argument against compatibilism fails to show that causal determination is incompatible with the proposed duties wrongdoers owe to those they’ve wronged. I respond that I did not intend my manipulation argument to rule out a sense of moral responsibility that features such duties, (...)
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  • Desert, Control, and Moral Responsibility.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-20.
    In this paper, I take it for granted both that there are two types of blameworthiness -- accountability blameworthiness and attributability blameworthiness -- and that avoidability is necessary only for the former. My task, then, is to explain why avoidability is necessary for accountability blameworthiness but not for attributability blameworthiness. I argue that what explains this is both the fact that these two types of blameworthiness make different sorts of reactive attitudes fitting and that only one of these two types (...)
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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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  • 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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