Noûs:online (2019)

David Shoemaker
Tulane University
Manuel Vargas
University of California, San Diego
It is notable that all of the leading theories of blame have to employ ungainly fixes to deflect one or more apparent counterexamples. What these theories share is a content‐based theory of blame's nature. Such approaches overlook or ignore blame's core unifying feature, namely, its function, which is to signal the blamer's commitment to a set of norms. In this paper, we present the problems with the extant theories and then explain what signaling is, how it functions in blame, why appealing to it resolves the problems in other theories, what the signaling function implies for a wider range of gray‐area cases, and what the larger significance is of blame's core function for interpersonal interactions in a variety of (non‐moral) normative domains.
Keywords blame  norm enforcement  signaling  hypocrisy
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DOI 10.1111/nous.12316
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Moral Grandstanding.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2016 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 44 (3):197-217.
The Moralistic Fallacy: On the ”Appropriateness' of Emotions.Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
Moral Blame and Moral Protest.Angela Smith - 2013 - In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Scaffolding Agency: A Proleptic Account of the Reactive Attitudes.Victoria McGeer - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):301-323.
Virtue signalling is virtuous.Neil Levy - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9545-9562.

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