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Taking Demands Out of Blame

In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 141-161 (2013)

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  1. Agency and Resentment: Reinterpreting Strawson's Compatibilism.Bobby Bingle - unknown
    In his influential work, “Freedom and Resentment,” P.F. Strawson argues that the truth of determinism would be irrelevant to our moral responsibility practices, since our commitment to these practices is somehow connected to both our reactive attitudes—e.g. resentment, gratitude, and love—and participation in interpersonal relationships. However, some of the moves made by Strawson in his work remain unclear. In this paper, I address three prominent attempts to explain these moves, and contend that none of them captures his view because they (...)
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  • The Walk and the Talk.Daniela Dover - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (4):387-422.
    It is widely believed that we ought not to criticize others for wrongs that we ourselves have committed. The author draws out and challenges some of the background assumptions about the practice of criticism that underlie our attraction to this claim, such as the tendency to think of criticism either as a social sanction or as a didactic intervention. The author goes on to offer a taxonomy of cases in which the moral legitimacy of criticism is challenged on the grounds (...)
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  • Don't Suffer in Silence: A Self-Help Guide to Self-Blame.Hannah Tierney - forthcoming - In Andreas Brekke Carlsson (ed.), Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge University Press.
    There are better and worse ways to blame others. Likewise, there are better and worse ways to blame yourself. And though there is an ever-expanding literature on the norms that govern our blaming practices, relatively little attention has been paid to the norms that govern expressions of self-blame. In this essay, I argue that when we blame ourselves, we ought not do so privately. Rather, we should, ceteris paribus, express our self-blame to those we have wronged. I then explore how (...)
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  • Reactive Attitudes as Communicative Entities.Coleen Macnamara - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):546-569.
    Many theorists claim that the reactive emotions, even in their private form, are communicative entities. But as widely endorsed as this claim is, it has not been redeemed: the literature lacks a clear and compelling account of the sense in which reactive attitudes qua private mental states are essentially communicative. In this paper, I fill this gap. I propose that it is apt to characterize privately held reactive attitudes as communicative in nature because they, like many paradigmatic forms of communication, (...)
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  • The Communication Argument and the Pluralist Challenge.Shawn Tinghao Wang - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (5):384-399.
    Various theorists have endorsed the “communication argument”: communicative capacities are necessary for morally responsible agency because blame aims at a distinctive kind of moral communication. I contend that existing versions of the argument, including those defended by Gary Watson and Coleen Macnamara, face a pluralist challenge: they do not seem to sit well with the plausible view that blame has multiple aims. I then examine three possible rejoinders to the challenge, suggesting that a context-specific, function-based approach constitutes the most promising (...)
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  • Epistemically blameworthy belief.Jessica Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3595-3614.
    When subjects violate epistemic standards or norms, we sometimes judge them blameworthy rather than blameless. For instance, we might judge a subject blameworthy for dogmatically continuing to believe a claim even after receiving evidence which undermines it. Indeed, the idea that one may be blameworthy for belief is appealed to throughout the contemporary epistemic literature. In some cases, a subject seems blameworthy for believing as she does even though it seems prima facie implausible that she is morally blameworthy or professionally (...)
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  • Blame and Protest.Eugene Chislenko - 2019 - The Journal of Ethics 23 (2):163-181.
    In recent years, philosophers have developed a novel conception of blame as a kind of moral protest. This Protest View of Blame faces doubts about its intelligibility: can we make sense of inner ‘protest’ in cases of unexpressed blame? It also faces doubts about its descriptive adequacy: does ‘protest’ capture what is distinctive in reactions of blame? I argue that the Protest View can successfully answer the first kind of doubt, but not the second. Cases of contemptful blame and unexpressed (...)
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  • Doping and Moral Disapprovals.Mika Hämäläinen, Andrew Bloodworth & Suvi Heikkinen - 2020 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 15 (3):331-348.
    This paper explores variance in how people morally disapprove wrongs related to doping. The variance may pertain to what type of moral disapproval a person uses or to what they disapprove of. Our e...
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  • “Screw You!” & “Thank You”.Coleen Macnamara - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):893-914.
    If I do you a good turn, you may respond with gratitude and express that gratitude by saying “Thank you.” Similarly, if I insult you, you may react with resentment which you express by shouting, “Screw you!” or something of the sort. Broadly put, when confronted with another’s morally significant conduct, we are inclined to respond with a reactive attitude and to express that reactive attitude in speech. A number of familiar speech acts have a call-and-response structure. Questions, demands and (...)
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  • Criticism as Conversation 1.Daniela Dover - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):26-61.
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  • Moral Responsibility as Guiltworthiness.A. Duggan - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):291-309.
    It is often alleged that an agent is morally responsible in a liability sense for a transgression just in case s/he deserves a negative interpersonal response for that transgression, blaming responses such as resentment and indignation being paradigms. Aside from a few exceptions, guilt is cited in recent discussions of moral responsibility, if at all, as merely an effect of being blamed, or as a reliable indicator of moral responsibility, but not itself an explanation of moral responsibility. In this paper, (...)
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  • Passionate Speech: On the Uses and Abuses of Anger in Public Debate.Alessandra Tanesini - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 89:153-176.
    Anger dominates debates in the public sphere. In this article I argue that there are diverse forms of anger that merit different responses. My focus is especially on two types of anger that I label respectively arrogant and resistant. The first is the characteristic defensive response of those who unwarrantedly arrogate special privileges for themselves. The second is often a source of insight and a form of moral address. I detail some discursive manifestations of these two types of anger. I (...)
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  • Moral Torch Fishing: A Signaling Theory of Blame.David Shoemaker & Manuel Vargas - 2019 - Noûs:online.
    It is notable that all of the leading theories of blame have to employ ungainly fixes to deflect one or more apparent counterexamples. What these theories share is a content‐based theory of blame's nature. Such approaches overlook or ignore blame's core unifying feature, namely, its function, which is to signal the blamer's commitment to a set of norms. In this paper, we present the problems with the extant theories and then explain what signaling is, how it functions in blame, why (...)
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  • A Defense of Angry Blame.Lyn Alison Radke - 2019 - Dissertation, Vanderbilt University
    While blame is not a difficult practice to defend, in part because of its ineradicability in our moral lives, angry blame has been a tougher sell. Critics of angry blame cast it as an unnecessary, punitive, or unproductive practiceâone that should be either avoided or abandoned altogether. Against these views, I argue that anger has positive moral value and should remain on the table in our blaming practices. The argument proceeds by identifying a specific mode of angry blameâwhat I call (...)
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  • Blame, Communication, and Morally Responsible Agency.Coleen Macnamara - 2015 - In Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna & Angela Smith (eds.), The Nature of Moral Responsibility: New Essays. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 211-236.
    Many important theorists – e.g., Gary Watson and Stephen Darwall – characterize blame as a communicative entity and argue that this entails that morally responsible agency requires not just rational but moral competence. In this paper, I defend this argument from communication against three objections found in the literature. The first two reject the argument’s characterization of the reactive attitudes. The third urges that the argument is committed to a false claim.
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