Responsibility for Wrongdoing Without Blameworthiness: How it Makes Sense and How it Doesn't

Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):569-589 (2014)
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Abstract

Some writers, such as John Fischer and Michael McKenna, have recently claimed that an agent can be morally responsible for a wrong action and yet not be blameworthy for that action. A careful examination of the claim, however, suggests two readings. On one reading, there are further conditions on blameworthiness beyond freely and wittingly doing wrong. On another innocuous reading, there are no such further conditions. Despite Fischer and McKenna’s attempts to offer further conditions on blameworthiness in addition to responsibility for wrongdoing, I argue that only the innocuous reading is plausible. Once we distinguish between blame being deserved and blame being all-things-considered appropriate, we need not appeal to further conditions on blameworthiness. This discussion has important upshots regarding how compatibilists respond to certain manipulation arguments and how proponents of derived responsibility respond to criticism that agents are responsible even for outcomes that are not reasonably foreseeable.

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Kyle G. Fritz
University of Mississippi

Citations of this work

Hypocrisy, Inconsistency, and the Moral Standing of the State.Kyle G. Fritz - 2019 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 13 (2):309-327.
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