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Leonhard Menges
University of Salzburg
  1. The emotion account of blame.Leonhard Menges - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (1):257-273.
    For a long time the dominant view on the nature of blame was that to blame someone is to have an emotion toward her, such as anger, resentment or indignation in the case of blaming someone else and guilt in the case of self-blame. Even though this view is still widely held, it has recently come under heavy attack. The aim of this paper is to elaborate the idea that to blame is to have an emotion and to defend the (...)
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  2. A Defense of Privacy as Control.Leonhard Menges - 2021 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (3):385-402.
    Even though the idea that privacy is some kind of control is often presented as the standard view on privacy, there are powerful objections against it. The aim of this paper is to defend the control account of privacy against some particularly pressing challenges by proposing a new way to understand the relevant kind of control. The main thesis is that privacy should be analyzed in terms of source control, a notion that is adopted from discussions about moral responsibility.
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  3. Blaming.Leonhard Menges - forthcoming - In The Routledge Handbook of Responsibility. New York: Routledge.
    In the last two decades, blame has become a core topic in ethics, philosophical moral psychology and, more recently, epistemology. This chapter aims at clarifying the complex state of the debate and at making a suggestion for how we should proceed from here. The core idea is that accounts of blame are often motivated by very different background goals. One standard goal is to provide a unifying account of our everyday blame practices. The chapter argues that there is reason to (...)
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  4. Responsibility, Free Will, and the Concept of Basic Desert.Leonhard Menges - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (2):615-636.
    Many philosophers characterize a particularly important sense of free will and responsibility by referring to basically deserved blame. But what is basically deserved blame? The aim of this paper is to identify the appraisal entailed by basic desert claims. It presents three desiderata for an account of desert appraisals and it argues that important recent theories fail to meet them. Then, the paper presents and defends a promising alternative. The basic idea is that claims about basically deserved blame entail that (...)
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  5. Blame it on Disappointment: A Problem for Skepticism about Angry Blame.Leonhard Menges - 2020 - Public Affairs Quarterly 34 (2):169-184.
    Blame skeptics argue that we have strong reason to revise our blame practices because humans do not fulfill all the conditions for it being appropriate to blame them. This paper presents a new challenge for this view. Many have objected that blame plays valuable roles such that we have strong reason to hold on to our blame practices. Skeptics typically reply that non-blaming responses to objectionable conduct, like forms of disappointment, can serve the positive functions of blame. The new challenge (...)
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  6. Free will, determinism, and the right levels of description.Leonhard Menges - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (1):1-18.
    ABSTRACT Recently, many authors have argued that claims about determinism and free will are situated on different levels of description and that determinism on one level does not rule out free will on another. This paper focuses on Christian List’s version of this basic idea. It will be argued for the negative thesis that List’s account does not rule out the most plausible version of incompatibilism about free will and determinism and, more constructively, that a level-based approach to free will (...)
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  7. On the Top‑Down Argument for the Ability to Do Otherwise.Leonhard Menges - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    The Top-Down Argument for the ability to do otherwise aims at stablishing that humans can do otherwise in the sense that is relevant for debates about free will. It consists of two premises: first, we always need to answer the question of whether some phenomenon (such as the ability to do otherwise) exists by consulting our best scientific theories of the domain at issue. Second, our best scientific theories of human action presuppose that humans can do otherwise. This paper argues (...)
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  8. The Kind of Blame Skeptics Should Be Skeptical About.Leonhard Menges - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (6):401-415.
    Skepticism about blameworthiness says that there is good reason to doubt that, in our world, humans are ever blameworthy for their deeds. A significant problem for the discussion of this view is that it is unclear how to understand the kind of blame that should be at issue. This paper makes a new proposal. The basic idea is that the kind of blame skeptics should be skeptical about is constituted by responses that can violate the targets’ claims and by the (...)
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  9. Did the NSA and GCHQ Diminish Our Privacy? What the Control Account Should Say.Leonhard Menges - 2020 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 7 (1):29-48.
    A standard account of privacy says that it is essentially a kind of control over personal information. Many privacy scholars have argued against this claim by relying on so-called threatened loss cases. In these cases, personal information about an agent is easily available to another person, but not accessed. Critics contend that control accounts have the implausible implication that the privacy of the relevant agent is diminished in threatened loss cases. Recently, threatened loss cases have become important because Edward Snowden’s (...)
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  10. The Point of Blaming AI Systems.Hannah Altehenger & Leonhard Menges - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    As Christian List (2021) has recently argued, the increasing arrival of powerful AI systems that operate autonomously in high-stakes contexts creates a need for “future-proofing” our regulatory frameworks, i.e., for reassessing them in the face of these developments. One core part of our regulatory frameworks that dominates our everyday moral interactions is blame. Therefore, “future-proofing” our extant regulatory frameworks in the face of the increasing arrival of powerful AI systems requires, among others things, that we ask whether it makes sense (...)
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  11. Grounding Responsibility in Appropriate Blame.Leonhard Menges - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):15-24.
    When confronted with the question of why it is appropriate to morally blame a person for some bad action, it may seem plausible to reply that she is morally responsible for it. Some authors, inspired by Peter Strawson's "Freedom and Resentment," argue, however, that thinking this way is backwards. They believe that a person is morally responsible for some bad action because it would be appropriate to blame her for it. The aims of this paper are to present this account, (...)
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  12. Three Control Views on Privacy.Leonhard Menges - 2022 - Social Theory and Practice 48 (4):691-711.
    This paper discusses the idea that the concept of privacy should be understood in terms of control. Three different attempts to spell out this idea will be critically discussed. The conclusion will be that the Source Control View on privacy is the most promising version of the idea that privacy is to be understood in terms of control.
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  13. Responsibility and appropriate blame: The no difference view.Leonhard Menges - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):393-409.
    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. (...)
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