Blameworthiness and the Affective Account of Blame

Philosophia 41 (4):1299-1312 (2013)
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One of the most influential accounts of blame—the affective account—takes its cue from P.F. Strawson’s discussion of the reactive attitudes. To blame someone, on this account, is to target her with resentment, indignation, or (in the case of self-blame) guilt. Given the connection between these emotions and the demand for regard that is arguably central to morality, the affective account is quite plausible. Recently, however, George Sher has argued that the affective account of blame, as understood both by Strawson himself and by contemporary Strawsonians, is inadequate because it cannot make sense of blameworthiness. In this paper I defend the affective account of blame against several of Sher’s arguments for this conclusion. In the process, I clarify the Strawsonian account of moral responsibility, and I discuss how the affective account of blame ought to be understood and articulated



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Neal Tognazzini
Western Washington University

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References found in this work

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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