Philosophical Papers 39 (3):373-399 (2010)

Authors
Coleen Macnamara
University of California, Riverside
Abstract
Most moral theorists agree that it is one thing to believe that someone has slighted you and another to resent her for the insult; one thing to believe that someone did you a favor and another to feel gratitude toward her for her kindness. While all of these ways of responding to another's conduct are forms of moral appraisal, the reactive attitudes are said to 'go beyond' beliefs in some way. We think this claim is adequately explained only when we take seriously the fact that reactive attitudes are emotions. In this paper, we appeal to insights of the emotions literature to highlight one key way in which reactive attitudes go beyond beliefs: beliefs about a person and her morally significant conduct merely ascribe to the person the property of having performed a morally significant action, while reactive attitudes are ways of experiencing that person as having performed a morally significant action. We then suggest that appreciating this is a crucial first step toward understanding why reactive emotions play roles in our practices around responsibility that beliefs do not.
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DOI 10.1080/05568641.2010.538915
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Reactive Attitudes as Communicative Entities.Coleen Macnamara - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):546-569.
Can a Corporation Be Worthy of Moral Consideration?Kenneth Silver - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 159 (1):253-265.
Justification, Coercion, and the Place of Public Reason.Chad Van Schoelandt - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1031-1050.
“Screw You!” & “Thank You”.Coleen Macnamara - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):893-914.
Forgiveness and Respect for Persons.Owen Ware - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3).

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

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