Acta Analytica 33 (2):161-179 (2018)

Authors
Moti Mizrahi
Florida Institute of Technology
Abstract
In this paper, we set out to test empirically an idea that many philosophers find intuitive, namely that non-moral ignorance can exculpate. Many philosophers find it intuitive that moral agents are responsible only if they know the particular facts surrounding their action. Our results show that whether moral agents are aware of the facts surrounding their action does have an effect on people’s attributions of blame, regardless of the consequences or side effects of the agent’s actions. In general, it was more likely that a situationally aware agent will be blamed for failing to perform the obligatory action than a situationally unaware agent. We also tested attributions of forgiveness in addition to attributions of blame. In general, it was less likely that a situationally aware agent will be forgiven for failing to perform the obligatory action than a situationally unaware agent. When the agent is situationally unaware, it is more likely that the agent will be forgiven than blamed. We argue that these results provide some empirical support for the hypothesis that there is something intuitive about the idea that non-moral ignorance can exculpate.
Keywords awareness  blame  blameworthiness  forgiveness  ignorance  moral responsibility
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-017-0339-y
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
1. Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - In John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (eds.), Perspectives on Moral Responsibility. Cornell University Press. pp. 1-25.
Who Knew?: Responsiblity Without Awareness.George Sher - 2009 - Oxford University Press USA.

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Citations of this work BETA

Weak Scientism Defended Once More: A Reply to Wills.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (6):41-50.
Defusing the Miners Paradox.Michael J. Shaffer - 2018 - Filosofiska Notiser 5:57-67.

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