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Deserved Guilt and Blameworthiness over Time

In Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility (forthcoming)

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  1. Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Harvard University Press.
    R. Jay Wallace argues in this book that moral accountability hinges on questions of fairness: When is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? Would it be fair to do so even in a deterministic world? To answer these questions, we need to understand what we are doing when we hold people morally responsible, a stance that Wallace connects with a central class of moral sentiments, those of resentment, indignation, and guilt. To hold someone responsible, he (...)
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  • Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):680-681.
    Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments offers an account of moral responsibility. It addresses the question: what are the forms of capacity or ability that render us morally accountable for the things we do? A traditional answer has it that the conditions of moral responsibility include freedom of the will, where this in turn involves the availability of robust alternative possibilities. I reject this answer, arguing that the conditions of moral responsibility do not include any condition of alternative possibilities. In the (...)
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  • Accountability and the Thoughts in Reactive Attitudes.Jada Strabbing - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3121-3140.
    As object-directed emotions, reactive attitudes can be appropriate in the sense of fitting, where an emotion is fitting in virtue of accurately representing its target. I use this idea to argue for a theory of moral accountability: an agent S is accountable for an action A if and only if A expresses S’s quality of will and S has the capacity to recognize and respond to moral reasons. For the sake of argument, I assume that a reactive attitude is fitting (...)
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  • Response-Dependent Responsibility; or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Blame.David Shoemaker - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (4):481-527.
    This essay attempts to provide and defend what may be the first actual argument in support of P. F. Strawson's merely stated vision of a response-dependent theory of moral responsibility. It does so by way of an extended analogy with the funny. In part 1, it makes the easier and less controversial case for response-dependence about the funny. In part 2, it shows the tight analogy between anger and amusement in developing the harder and more controversial case for response-dependence about (...)
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  • Desert, Control, and Moral Responsibility.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (4):407-426.
    In this paper, I take it for granted both that there are two types of blameworthiness—accountability blameworthiness and attributability blameworthiness—and that avoidability is necessary only for the former. My task, then, is to explain why avoidability is necessary for accountability blameworthiness but not for attributability blameworthiness. I argue that what explains this is both the fact that these two types of blameworthiness make different sorts of reactive attitudes fitting and that only one of these two types of attitudes requires having (...)
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  • Desert, Fairness, and Resentment.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):1-16.
    Responsibility, blameworthiness in particular, has been characterized in a number of ways in a literature in which participants appear to be talking about the same thing much of the time. More specifically, blameworthiness has been characterized in terms of what sorts of responses are fair, appropriate, and deserved in a basic way, where the responses in question range over blame, sanctions, alterations to interpersonal relationships, and the reactive attitudes, such as resentment and indignation. In this paper, I explore the relationships (...)
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  • Grounding Responsibility in Appropriate Blame.Leonhard Menges - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):15-24.
    When confronted with the question of why it is appropriate to morally blame a person for some bad action, it may seem plausible to reply that she is morally responsible for it. Some authors, inspired by Peter Strawson's "Freedom and Resentment," argue, however, that thinking this way is backwards. They believe that a person is morally responsible for some bad action because it would be appropriate to blame her for it. The aims of this paper are to present this account, (...)
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  • Is Blameworthiness Forever?Andrew C. Khoury & Benjamin Matheson - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):204-224.
    Many of those working on moral responsibility assume that "once blameworthy, always blameworthy." They believe that blameworthiness is like diamonds: it is forever. We argue that blameworthiness is not forever; rather, it can diminish through time. We begin by showing that the view that blameworthiness is forever is best understood as the claim that personal identity is sufficient for diachronic blameworthiness. We argue that this view should be rejected because it entails that blameworthiness for past action is completely divorced from (...)
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  • Fittingness.Christopher Howard - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12542.
    The normative notion of fittingness figures saliently in the work of a number of ethical theorists writing in the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries and has in recent years regained prominence, occupying an important place in the theoretical tool kits of a range of contemporary writers. Yet the notion remains strikingly undertheorized. This article offers a (partial) remedy. I proceed by canvassing a number of attempts to analyze the fittingness relation in other terms, arguing that none is fully adequate. In (...)
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  • The Force and Fairness of Blame.Pamela Hieronymi - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):115–148.
    In this paper I consider fairness of blaming a wrongdoer. In particular, I consider the claim that blaming a wrongdoer can be unfair because blame has a certain characteristic force, a force which is not fairly imposed upon the wrongdoer unless certain conditions are met--unless, e.g., the wrongdoer could have done otherwise, or unless she is someone capable of having done right, or unless she is able to control her behavior by the light of moral reasons. While agreeing that blame (...)
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  • Articulating an Uncompromising Forgiveness.Pamela Hieronymi - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):529-555.
    I first pose a challenge which, it seems to me, any philosophical account of forgiveness must meet: the account must be articulate and it must allow for forgiveness that is uncompromising. I then examine an account of forgiveness which appears to meet this challenge. Upon closer examination we discover that this account actually fails to meet the challenge—but it fails in very instructive ways. The account takes two missteps which seem to be taken by almost everyone discussing forgiveness. At the (...)
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  • A Sketch of a Theory of Moral Blameworthiness.Peter A. Graham - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):388-409.
    In this paper I sketch an account of moral blame and blameworthiness. I begin by clarifying what I take blame to be and explaining how blameworthiness is to be analyzed in terms of it. I then consider different accounts of the conditions of blameworthiness and, in the end, settle on one according to which a person is blameworthy for φ-ing just in case, in φ-ing, she violates one of a particular class of moral requirements governing the attitudes we bear, and (...)
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  • Blameworthiness and Time.Jules Coleman & Alexander Sarch - 2012 - Legal Theory 18 (2):101-137.
    Reactive emotion accounts hold that blameworthiness should be analyzed in terms of the familiar reactive emotions. However, despite the attractions of such views, we are not persuaded that blameworthiness is ultimately a matter of correctly felt reactive emotion. In this paper, we draw attention to a range of little-discussed considerations involving the moral significance of the passage of time that drive a wedge between blameworthiness and the reactive emotions: the appropriateness of the reactive emotions is sensitive to the passage of (...)
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  • Some Theses on Desert.Randolph Clarke - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):153-64.
    Consider the idea that suffering of some specific kind is deserved by those who are guilty of moral wrongdoing. Feeling guilty is a prime example. It might be said that it is noninstrumentally good that one who is guilty feel guilty (at the right time and to the right degree), or that feeling guilty (at the right time and to the right degree) is apt or fitting for one who is guilty. Each of these claims constitutes an interesting thesis about (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility, Guilt, and Retributivism.Randolph Clarke - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):121-137.
    This paper defends a minimal desert thesis, according to which someone who is blameworthy for something deserves to feel guilty, to the right extent, at the right time, because of her culpability. The sentiment or emotion of guilt includes a thought that one is blameworthy for something as well as an unpleasant affect. Feeling guilty is not a matter of inflicting suffering on oneself, and it need not involve any thought that one deserves to suffer. The desert of a feeling (...)
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  • Blameworthiness as Deserved Guilt.Andreas Carlsson - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (1):89-115.
    It is often assumed that we are only blameworthy for that over which we have control. In recent years, however, several philosophers have argued that we can be blameworthy for occurrences that appear to be outside our control, such as attitudes, beliefs and omissions. This has prompted the question of why control should be a condition on blameworthiness. This paper aims at defending the control condition by developing a new conception of blameworthiness: To be blameworthy, I argue, is most fundamentally (...)
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  • Ways to Be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness, and Responsibility.Elinor Mason - 2019 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Elinor Mason draws on ethics and responsibility theory to present a pluralistic view of both wrongness and blameworthiness. Mason argues that our moral concepts, rightness and wrongness, must be connected to our responsibility concepts. But the connection is not simple. She identifies three different ways to be blameworthy, corresponding to different ways of acting wrongly. The paradigmatic way to be blameworthy is to act subjectively wrongly. Mason argues for an account of subjective obligation that is connected to the notion of (...)
  • The Moralistic Fallacy: On the “Appropriateness” of Emotions.Justin D’Arms & Daniel Jacobson - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):65-90.
    Philosophers often call emotions appropriate or inappropriate. What is meant by such talk? In one sense, explicated in this paper, to call an emotion appropriate is to say that the emotion is fitting: it accurately presents its object as having certain evaluative features. For instance, envy might be thought appropriate when one’s rival has something good which one lacks. But someone might grant that a circumstance has these features, yet deny that envy is appropriate, on the grounds that it is (...)
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  • Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Derk Pereboom articulates and defends an original, forward-looking conception of moral responsibility. He argues that although we may not possess the kind of free will that is normally considered necessary for moral responsibility, this does not jeopardize our sense of ourselves as agents, or a robust sense of achievement and meaning in life.
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  • Opting for the Best: Oughts and Options.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The book concerns what I take to be the least controversial normative principle concerning action: you ought to perform your best option—best, that is, in terms of whatever ultimately matters. The book sets aside the question of what ultimately matters so as to focus on more basic issues, such as: What are our options? Do I have the option of typing out the cure for cancer if that’s what I would in fact do if I had the right intentions at (...)
  • Conversation & Responsibility.Michael McKenna - 2012 - Oup Usa.
    In this book Michael McKenna advances a new theory of moral responsibility, one that builds upon the work of P.F. Strawson.
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  • Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Nelkin presents a simple and natural account of freedom and moral responsibility which responds to the great variety of challenges to the idea that we are free and responsible, before ultimately reaffirming our conception of ourselves as agents. Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility begins with a defense of the rational abilities view, according to which one is responsible for an action if and only if one acts with the ability to recognize and act for good reasons. The view is (...)
  • Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book provides a comprehensive, systematic theory of moral responsibility. The authors explore the conditions under which individuals are morally responsible for actions, omissions, consequences, and emotions. The leading idea in the book is that moral responsibility is based on 'guidance control'. This control has two components: the mechanism that issues in the relevant behavior must be the agent's own mechanism, and it must be appropriately responsive to reasons. The book develops an account of both components. The authors go on (...)
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  • A Comprehensive Account of Blame: Self-Blame, Non-Moral Blame, and Blame for the Non-Voluntary.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In Andreas Brekke Carlsson (ed.), Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge:
    Blame is multifarious. It can be passionate or dispassionate. It can be expressed or kept private. We blame both the living and the dead. And we blame ourselves as well as others. What’s more, we blame ourselves, not only for our moral failings, but also for our non-moral failings: for our aesthetic bad taste, gustatory self-indulgence, or poor athletic performance. And we blame ourselves both for things over which we exerted agential control (e.g., our voluntary acts) and for things over (...)
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  • Blame, Communication, and Morally Responsible Agency.Coleen Macnamara - 2015 - In Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna & Angela Smith (eds.), The Nature of Moral Responsibility: New Essays. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 211-236.
    Many important theorists – e.g., Gary Watson and Stephen Darwall – characterize blame as a communicative entity and argue that this entails that morally responsible agency requires not just rational but moral competence. In this paper, I defend this argument from communication against three objections found in the literature. The first two reject the argument’s characterization of the reactive attitudes. The third urges that the argument is committed to a false claim.
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  • Fairness and the Architecture of Responsibility.David O. Brink & Dana K. Nelkin - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 1:284-313.
    This essay explores a conception of responsibility at work in moral and criminal responsibility. Our conception draws on work in the compatibilist tradition that focuses on the choices of agents who are reasons-responsive and work in criminal jurisprudence that understands responsibility in terms of the choices of agents who have capacities for practical reason and whose situation affords them the fair opportunity to avoid wrongdoing. Our conception brings together the dimensions of normative competence and situational control, and we factor normative (...)
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  • Guilty Confessions.Hannah Tierney - 2021 - In Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 182-204.
    Recent work on blameworthiness has prominently featured discussions of guilt. The philosophers who develop guilt-based views of blameworthiness do an excellent job of attending to the evaluative and affective features of feeling guilty. However, these philosophers have been less attentive to guilt’s characteristic action tendencies and the role admissions of guilt play in our blaming practices. This paper focuses on the nature of guilty confession and argues that it illuminates an important function of blame that has been overlooked in the (...)
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  • Shame and Attributability.Andreas Brekke Carlsson - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, vol. 6.
    Responsibility as accountability is normally taken to have stricter control conditions than responsibility as attributability. A common way to argue for this claim is to point to differences in the harmfulness of blame involved in these different kinds of responsibility. This paper argues that this explanation does not work once we shift our focus from other-directed blame to self-blame. To blame oneself in the accountability sense is to feel guilt and feeling guilty is to suffer. To blame oneself in the (...)
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  • Freedom and Forgiveness.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2013 - In Ishtiyaque Haji & Justin Caouette (eds.), Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: pp. 165-188.
    In this paper, I begin with a familiar puzzle about forgiveness, namely, how to distinguish forgiveness from excuse on the one hand and “letting go” on the other. After considering three recent and influential accounts of forgiveness that offer answers to this challenge among others, I develop an alternative model of forgiveness as a kind of personal release from debt or obligation. I argue that this model has a number of distinct advantages, including offering a new explanation of the subtle (...)
     
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