On Losing One's Moral Voice

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Although it is widely accepted that hypocritical blamers lack the standing to blame others who have committed similar wrongs, an account of what it is that’s lost when someone loses their standing to blame remains elusive. When moral address is inappropriate because it is or would be hypocritical, what is the precise nature of the complaint that the blamed party is entitled to raise, and that so often gets voiced as “I don’t have to take that from you”? In this paper I argue that extant answers to this question fall short, and I offer a novel account that takes seriously the thought that hypocrisy somehow silences the blame of the hypocrite. To make sense of this silencing effect, I argue that we need to look closely at the role that second-personal reasons play in moral address.
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Archival date: 2019-10-10
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