Recovering Lost Moral Ground: Can Walt Make Amends?

In Kevin S. Decker, David R. Koepsell & Robert Arp (eds.), Philosophy and Breaking Bad. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 143-160 (2016)
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Is it possible to recover lost moral ground? In the closing episodes of the TV show "Breaking Bad", it becomes clear that the protagonist, Walter White, believes that the correct answer to this question is an affirmative one. Walt believes that he can, and that he has, recovered lost moral ground. "Breaking Bad" may be said to explore two distinct and incompatible ways of attempting to recover lost moral ground. The first way is revisionist. This is to rewrite the script of what, morally speaking, has occurred, so that it appears that nothing wrong was done. The second way is restorative. This is to admit to morally wrongful behavior, but to attempt to make amends for it. While we concede that it is possible to recover lost moral ground in both of these ways, we deny that Walt is able to do so in both of these ways. At best, Walt can only hope to recover lost moral ground by attempting to make amends for his past misdeeds



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James Mahon
Lehman College (CUNY)

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A plea for excuses.John Austin - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:1--30.
I.—A Plea for Excuses: The Presidential Address.J. L. Austin - 1957 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57 (1):1-30.

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