Blame as a Volitional Activity

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Abstract
Blame is fascinating yet elusive, and it is both of these things because it is so complex. It seems to have a cognitive aspect (the belief that someone has done wrong, perhaps), but it also seems to have an emotional aspect (resentment at being disrespected, perhaps). And then of course there is the outside-of-the-head aspect of blame, which manifests itself in rebukes and reprimands, accusations and distrust, cold shoulders and estrangement. Still, accounts of blame that identify it with beliefs or emotions seem inadequate. In this paper I draw on the work of Harry Frankfurt to suggest an alternative account, according to which blame most centrally involves changes in the structure of the will.
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Archival date: 2019-10-10
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