Moral Accountability and Social Norms

Social Philosophy and Policy 35 (1):217-236 (2018)
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Abstract:This essay argues that moral accountability depends upon having a shared system of social norms. In particular, it argues that the Strawsonian reactive attitude of resentment is only fitting when people can reasonably expect a mutual recognition of the justified demands to which they are being held. Though such recognition should not typically be expected of moral demands that are thought to be independent of any social practice, social norms can ground such mutual recognition. On this account, a significant part of a society’s social norms are also properly seen as moral norms. The essay defends this overlap of social and moral norms in contrast to views on which moral norms and social norms are sharply distinguished. Lastly, the essay concludes by addressing challenges for accountability in circumstances of norm change.



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Chad Van Schoelandt
Tulane University

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Two concepts of rules.John Rawls - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (1):3-32.
The Moralistic Fallacy.Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
The Moralistic Fallacy: On the 'Appropriateness' of Emotions.Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.

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