Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (2):291-309 (2018)

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, I argue that an agent is morally responsible in a liability sense for a transgression just in case s/he deserves to feel moral guilt for that transgression. I argue that this alternative view offers all that the predominant blame-focused view offers, while also solving some puzzling features of moral responsibility. Specifically, it offers a compelling way to reconcile conflicting intuitions about the suberogatory, and allows those who do not understand what Darwall calls ‘second-personal’ reasons to be morally responsible for their immoral acts.
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-018-9863-0
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Utilitarianism.J. S. Mill - 1861 - Oxford University Press UK.

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Citations of this work BETA

Guilty Confessions.Hannah Tierney - 2021 - In Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 182-204.
Still Guilty.Randolph Clarke - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-18.
Blame, Deserved Guilt, and Harms to Standing.Gunnar Björnsson - 2022 - In Andreas Brekke Carlsson (ed.), Self-blame and moral responsibility. Cambridge University Press. pp. 198–216.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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