Condemnatory Disappointment

Ethics 132 (4):851-880 (2022)
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When blame is understood to be emotion-based or affective, its emotional tone is standardly identified as one of anger. We argue that this conception of affective blame is overly restrictive. By attending to cases of blame that emerge against a background of a particular kind of hope invested in others, we identify a blaming response characterized not by anger but by sadness: reactive disappointment. We develop an account of reactive disappointment as affective blame, maintaining that while angry blame and disappointed blame are both condemnatory responses, they have distinct evaluative foci and occupy different but complementary roles in our accountability practices.

Author Profiles

Leora Dahan Katz
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Daniel Telech
Lund University


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