Guilt without Perceived Wrongdoing

Philosophy and Public Affairs 48 (3):285-314 (2020)
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Abstract

According to the received account of guilt in the philosophical literature, one cannot feel guilt unless one takes oneself to have done something morally wrong. But ordinary people feel guilt in many cases in which they do not take themselves to have done anything morally wrong. In this paper, I focus on one kind of guilt without perceived wrongdoing, guilt about being merely causally responsible for a bad state-of-affairs. I go on to present a novel account of guilt that explains guilt about mere causal responsibility, according to which guilt represents part of the self as bound up with what is bad.

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Author's Profile

Michael Zhao
University of Notre Dame

Citations of this work

Conceptual limitations, puzzlement, and epistemic dilemmas.Deigan Michael - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2771-2796.
In defense of guilt‐tripping.Rachel Achs - 2024 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (3):792-810.
Guilty Confessions.Hannah Tierney - 2013 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford studies in agency and responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 182-204.

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References found in this work

Moral Luck.Bernard Williams - 1981 - Critica 17 (51):101-105.
Alief and belief.Tamar Gendler - 2018 - In Jeremy Fantl, Matthew McGrath & Ernest Sosa (eds.), Contemporary epistemology: an anthology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
The Moralistic Fallacy.Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50 (1):115-152.
What an emotion is: A sketch.Robert C. Roberts - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (April):183-209.

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