Two Problems of Self-Blame for Accounts of Moral Standing

Ergo (forthcoming)
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Traditionally, those writing on blame have been concerned with blaming others, including when one has the standing to blame others. Yet some alleged problems for such accounts of standing arise when we focus on self-blame. First, if hypocrites lack the standing to blame others, it might seem that they also lack the standing to blame themselves. But this would lead to a bootstrapping problem, wherein hypocrites can only regain standing by doing that which they lack the standing to do. Second, in addition to hypocrites, there may be hypercrites, who blame themselves more severely than others. Leading accounts for why hypocrites lack standing to blame others would also seem to imply that hypercrites lack the standing to blame others, but some may find this counterintuitive. We argue that neither of these problems from self-blame poses a unique threat to leading accounts of standing.

Author Profiles

Kyle G. Fritz
University of Mississippi
Daniel J. Miller
West Virginia University


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