Denial of Responsibility and Normative Negation

In Olivier Roy, Allard Tamminga & Malte Willer (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems. London, UK: College Publications (2016)
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In this paper I provide some linguistic evidence to the thesis that responsibility judgments are normative. I present an argument from negation, since the negation of descrip- tive judgments is structurally different from the negation of normative judgments. In particular, the negation of responsibility judgments seem to conform to the pattern of the negation of normative judgments, thus being a prima facie evidence for the normativity of responsibility judgments. I assume — for the argument’s sake — Austin’s distinction be- tween justification and excuse, and I sketch how to accommodate the distinction between internal (justification) and external (excuse) nega- tion of responsibility within a language with a second-order analogous of existential generalization and λ operator. In the end I confront with and refute some objections against this argument.

Author's Profile

Federico L. G. Faroldi
Universita' degli Studi di Pavia


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