Is Blameworthiness Forever?

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):204-224 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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 the distinctive psychological features of the person at the later time. This is because on none of the leading accounts of personal identity does identity require the preservation of any distinctive psychological features, but merely requires some form of continuity. The claim that blameworthiness is forever should therefore be rejected. We then sketch an account of blameworthiness over time, and consider two objections.

Author Profiles

Andrew Khoury
Arizona State University
Benjamin Matheson
Universitat de Valencia

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-05-18

Downloads
839 (#8,272)

6 months
84 (#8,638)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?