In Marina Oshana, Katrina Hutchison & Catriona Mackenzie (eds.), Social Dimensions of Moral Responsibility. OUP (forthcoming)

In this paper I suggest that there is a way to make sense of blameworthiness for morally problematic actions even when there is no bad will behind such actions. I am particularly interested in cases where an agent acts in a biased way, and the explanation is socialization and false belief rather than bad will on the part of the agent. In such cases, I submit, we are pulled in two directions: on the one hand non-culpable ignorance is usually an excuse, but in the case of acting in a biased way we feel some pull to find the agent blameworthy. I argue that agents are sometimes blameworthy, (where I really mean that they are blameworthy, and not just that it is permissible to reproach them), even if they do not have any bad will. I argue that although the paradigmatic account of blameworthiness is based on quality of will, we can and should be willing to allow that there are non-paradigmatic cases. I argue that the zone of responsibility can be extended to include acts that we are not fully in control of, and acts whose moral status we are non-culpably ignorant about at the time of acting. This extension of responsibility happens through a voluntary taking of responsibility. I argue that there are certain conditions under which we should take responsibility, and that when we do so, we genuinely are responsible.
Keywords Bias  Responsibility  Blame  Moral Ignorance  Feminism  Culpability  Quality of Will
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.

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Citations of this work BETA

Control, Attitudes, and Accountability.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
The Mysterious Case of the Missing Perpetrators.Michelle Ciurria - 2020 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 6 (2).

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