Responsibility and appropriate blame: The no difference view

European Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):393-409 (2020)
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How do the fact that an agent is morally responsible for a certain morally objectionable action and the fact that she is an appropriate target of blame for it relate to each other? Many authors inspired by Peter Strawson say that they necessarily co‐occur. Standard answers to the question of why they co‐occur say that the occurrence of one of the facts explains that the other obtains. This article presents a third option: that they are one and the same fact. There is no difference between the fact that a person is an appropriate target of blame for an objectionable action and the fact that she is morally responsible for it. This view has the advantage of being metaphysically more parsimonious and of answering, in an elegant and plausible way, an interesting question about which many standard theories of responsibility keep silent: what is it to be morally responsible simpliciter?

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Leonhard Menges
University of Salzburg


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