Let's See You Do Better

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10 (2023)
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Abstract

In response to criticism, we often say – in these or similar words – “Let’s see you do better!” Prima facie, it looks like this response is a challenge of a certain kind – a challenge to prove that one has what has recently been called standing. More generally, the data here seems to point a certain kind of norm of criticism: be better. Slightly more carefully: One must: criticize x with respect to standard s only if one is better than x with respect to standard s. In this paper, I defend precisely this norm of criticism – an underexplored norm that is nevertheless ubiquitous in our lives, once we begin looking for it. The be better norm is, I hope to show, continuously invoked in a wide range of ordinary settings, can undergird and explain the widely endorsed non-hypocrisy condition on the standing to blame, and apparent counterexamples to the norm are no such counterexamples at all. I further contend that, given some plausible principles, my previous “moral commitment” account of the moral standing to blame will be extensionally equivalent to the be better norm.

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Patrick Todd
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

The paradox of self-blame.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2):111–125.
Explaining Loss of Standing to Blame.Justin Snedegar - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-29.

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References found in this work

Hypocrisy and the Standing to Blame.Kyle G. Fritz & Daniel Miller - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):118-139.
An essay on free will.Peter van Inwagen & A. Phillips Griffiths - 1985 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 175 (4):557-558.
Hypocrisy, Moral Address, and the Equal Standing of Persons.R. Jay Wallace - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (4):307-341.
The paradox of self-blame.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (2):111–125.

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