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Matthew Talbert
West Virginia University
  1.  74
    Moral Responsibility.Matthew Talbert - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on moral responsibility.
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  2. Moral Competence, Moral Blame, and Protest.Matthew Talbert - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (1):89-109.
    I argue that wrongdoers may be open to moral blame even if they lacked the capacity to respond to the moral considerations that counted against their behavior. My initial argument turns on the suggestion that even an agent who cannot respond to specific moral considerations may still guide her behavior by her judgments about reasons. I argue that this explanation of a wrongdoer’s behavior can qualify her for blame even if her capacity for moral understanding is impaired. A second argument (...)
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  3. Attributionist Theories of Moral Responsibility.Matthew Talbert - 2022 - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 50-70.
    This chapter describes the attributionist approach to moral responsibility. Works by Pamela Hieronymi, T.M. Scanlon, Angela Smith, and Matthew Talbert are taken to representative of this approach. On the interpretation given here, attributionism is committed to the following: assessments of moral responsibility are, and ought to be, centrally concerned with the morally significant features of an agent’s orientation toward others that are attributable to her, and an agent is eligible for moral praise or blame solely on the basis of these (...)
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  4. Unwitting Wrongdoers and the Role of Moral Disagreement in Blame.Matthew Talbert - 2013 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Volume 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press UK.
    I argue against the claim that morally ignorant wrongdoers are open to blame only if they are culpable for their ignorance, and I argue against a version of skepticism about moral responsibility that depends on this claim being true. On the view I defend, the attitudes involved in blame are typically responses to the features of an action that make it objectionable or unjustifiable from the perspective of the one who issues the blame. One important way that an action can (...)
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  5.  67
    War Crimes: Causes, Excuses, and Blame.Matthew Talbert & Jessica Wolfendale - 2019 - New York, USA: OUP USA.
    Why do war crimes occur? Are perpetrators of war crimes always blameworthy? In an original and challenging thesis, this book argues that war crimes are often explained by perpetrators' beliefs, goals, and values, and in these cases perpetrators may be blameworthy even if they sincerely believed that they were doing the right thing.
  6. Blame and responsiveness to moral reasons: Are psychopaths blameworthy?Matthew Talbert - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):516-535.
    Abstract: Many philosophers believe that people who are not capable of grasping the significance of moral considerations are not open to moral blame when they fail to respond appropriately to these considerations. I contend, however, that some morally blind, or 'psychopathic,' agents are proper targets for moral blame, at least on some occasions. I argue that moral blame is a response to the normative commitments and attitudes of a wrongdoer and that the actions of morally blind agents can express the (...)
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  7.  58
    Moral Responsibility: An Introduction.Matthew Talbert - 2016 - Malden, MA: Polity.
    Most people would agree that a small child, or a cognitively impaired adult, is less responsible for their actions, good or bad, than an unimpaired adult. But how do we explain that difference, and how far can anyone be praised or blamed for what they have done? In this fascinating introduction, Matthew Talbert explores some of the key questions shaping current debates about moral responsibility, including: What is free will, and is it required for moral responsibility? Are we responsible for (...)
  8.  27
    Akrasia, Awareness, and Blameworthiness.Matthew Talbert - 2017 - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition. pp. 47-63.
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  9.  75
    Implanted Desires, Self-Formation and Blame.Matthew Talbert - 2009 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 3 (2):1-18.
    Those who advocate a “historicist” outlook on moral responsibility often hold that people who unwillingly acquire corrupt dispositions are not blameworthy for the wrong actions that issue from these dispositions; this contention is frequently supported by thought experiments involving instances of forced psychological manipulation that seem to call responsibility into question. I argue against this historicist perspective and in favor of the conclusion that the process by which a person acquires values and dispositions is largely irrelevant to moral responsibility. While (...)
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  10.  64
    The Attributionist Approach to Moral Luck.Matthew Talbert - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):24-41.
    Midwest Studies In Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  11. Drone Warfare, Civilian Deaths, and the Narrative of Honest Mistakes.Matthew Talbert & Jessica Wolfendale - 2023 - In Nobuo Hayashi & Carola Lingaas (eds.), Honest Errors? Combat Decision-Making 75 Years After the Hostage Case. T.M.C. Asser Press. pp. 261-288.
    In this chapter, we consider the plausibility and consequences of the use of the term “honest errors” to describe the accidental killings of civilians resulting from the US military’s drone campaigns in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. We argue that the narrative of “honest errors” unjustifiably excuses those involved in these killings from moral culpability, and reinforces long-standing, pernicious assumptions about the moral superiority of the US military and the inevitability of civilian deaths in combat. Furthermore, we maintain that, given (...)
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  12.  85
    Blaming Reasonable Wrongdoers.Matthew Talbert - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-17.
    ‘Reasonable wrongdoers’ reasonably, but wrongly, take themselves to act permissibly. Many responsibility theorists assume that since we cannot reasonably expect these wrongdoers to behave differently, they are not blameworthy. These theorists impose a Reasonable Expectation Condition on blame. I argue that reasonable wrongdoers may be blameworthy. It is true that we often excuse reasonable wrongdoers, but sometimes this is because we do not regard their behavior as objectionable in a way that makes blame appropriate. As such, these cases do not (...)
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  13. Contractualism and our duties to nonhuman animals.Matthew Talbert - 2006 - Environmental Ethics 28 (2):201-215.
    The influential account of contractualist moral theory offered recently by T. M. Scanlon in What We Owe to Each Other is not intended to account for all the various moral commitments that people have; it covers only a narrow—though important—range of properly moral concerns and claims. Scanlon focuses on what he calls the morality of right and wrong or, as he puts it in his title, what we owe to each other. The question arises as to whether nonhuman animals can (...)
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  14. Situationism, normative competence, and responsibility for wartime behavior.Matthew Talbert - 2009 - Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (3):415-432.
    About a year after the start of the Iraq War, a story broke about the abuse of Iraqi detainees by American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison. Editorialists and science writers noted affinities between what happened at Abu Ghraib and Philip Zimbardo’s famous 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. Zimbardo’s experiment is part of the “situationist” literature in social psychology, which suggests that the contexts in which agents act have a larger influence on behavior, and that personality traits have a smaller influence, (...)
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  15. Accountability, Aliens, and Psychopaths: A Reply to Shoemaker.Matthew Talbert - 2012 - Ethics 122 (3):562-574.
    I respond here to an argument in David Shoemaker’s recent essay, “Attributability, Answerability, and Accountability: Toward a Wider Theory of Moral Responsibility.” Shoemaker finds that “Scanlonian” approaches to moral blame err insofar as they do not include a capacity to respond to moral considerations among the conditions on blameworthiness. Shoemaker argues that wrongdoers must be able to respond to moral reasons for their behavior to express the disrespect to which blaming attitudes like resentment respond. I offer reasons for rejecting this (...)
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  16. Psychopaths and Symmetry: A Reply to Nelkin.Matthew Talbert - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (3):1233-1245.
    An agent is morally competent if she can respond to moral considerations. There is a debate about whether agents are open to moral blame only if they are morally competent, and Dana Nelkin’s “Psychopaths, Incorrigible Racists, and the Faces of Responsibility” is an important contribution to this debate. Like others involved in this dispute, Nelkin takes the case of the psychopath to be instructive. This is because psychopaths are similar to responsible agents insofar as they act deliberately and on judgments (...)
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  17.  23
    Contractualism and Our Duties to Nonhuman Animals.Matthew Talbert - 2006 - Environmental Ethics 28 (2):201-215.
    The influential account of contractualist moral theory offered recently by T. M. Scanlon in What We Owe to Each Other is not intended to account for all the various moral commitments that people have; it covers only a narrow—though important—range of properly moral concerns and claims. Scanlon focuses on what he calls the morality of right and wrong or, as he puts it in his title, what we owe to each other. The question arises as to whether nonhuman animals can (...)
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  18. Causal Involvement, Collectives, and Blame.Matthew Talbert - 2023 - In Andrés Garcia, Mattias Gunnemyr & Jakob Werkmäster (eds.), Value, Morality & Social Reality: Essays dedicated to Dan Egonsson, Björn Petersson & Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen. Department of Philosophy, Lund University. pp. 431-445.
    This paper argues that there is reason to distinguish between moral responsibility and blameworthiness and, in particular, that we can acknowledge that a person is responsible for the negative outcomes of their behavior without this necessarily informing our judgments about the person’s blameworthiness. This general theme is elaborated in the context of a discussion of some of Björn Petersson’s work on collective moral responsibility.
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  19.  61
    Praise and prevention.Matthew Talbert - 2012 - Philosophical Explorations 15 (1):47-61.
    I argue that it is possible to prevent (and to be praiseworthy for preventing) an unwelcome outcome that had no chance of occurring. I motivate this position by constructing examples in which it makes sense to explain the non-occurrence of a certain outcome by referring to a particular agent's intentional and willing behavior, and yet the non-occurrence of the outcome in question was ensured by factors external to the agent. I conclude that even if the non-occurrence of an unwelcome outcome (...)
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  20.  70
    Symmetry, Rational Abilities, and the Ought-Implies-Can Principle.Matthew Talbert - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (2):283-296.
    In Making Sense of Free Will and Moral Responsibility Dana Nelkin defends the “rational abilities view.” According to this view, agents are responsible for their behavior if and only if they act with the ability to recognize and act for good reasons. It follows that agents who act well are open to praise regardless of whether they could have acted differently, but agents who act badly are open to blame only if they could have acted on the moral reasons that (...)
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  21.  27
    Moral injury, Moral Suffering, and Moral Health.Matthew Talbert & Jessica Wolfendale - 2023 - In Justin T. McDaniel (ed.), Preventing and Treating the Invisible Wounds of War: Combat Trauma, Moral Injury, and Psychological Health. Oxford University Press. Translated by Evan R. Seamen & Stephen N. Xenakis.
    In this chapter, the authors argue that the concept of “moral injury” needs regimentation: Current definitions are both too broad and too narrow. They are too broad because they ignore or conflate important differences between the kinds of moral conflicts discussed in the literature. They are too narrow because they exclude the possibility of moral injury in the absence of internal moral conflict. The authors argue that it is necessary to first develop a conception of moral health, and they propose (...)
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  22. Responsibility without Causation, Luck, and Dying of Thirst: A Reply to Sartorio.Matthew Talbert - 2015 - Methode - Analytic Perspectives 4:173-184.
    This reply to Carolina Sartorio’s “Resultant Luck and the Thirsty Traveler” begins with a discussion of earlier treatments of the thirsty traveler puzzle. I emphasize the way in which adjustments to the case can elicit varying intuitions and conclude with a suggestion as to why the case is so difficult to analyze. Next, I turn to Sartorio’s analysis of the puzzle. I largely agree with her judgments about the causal issues in the case but I am less certain about the (...)
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  23. 10. Robert S. Taylor, Reconstructing Rawls: The Kantian Foundations of Justice as Fairness Robert S. Taylor, Reconstructing Rawls: The Kantian Foundations of Justice as Fairness (pp. 632-637). [REVIEW]Mark Schroeder, Jonathan Way, Gregg Strauss, Tim Willenken, Matthew Talbert, Angela M. Smith, James A. Montmarquet, Nicole Hassoun, Virginia Held & Nicholas Wolterstorff - 2012 - Ethics 122 (3).
  24.  33
    Morality and Agency: Themes From Bernard Williams.András Szigeti & Matthew Talbert (eds.) - 2022 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Usa.
    Bernard Williams was one of the great philosophical figures of the second half of the 20th century and remains deeply influential. This edited volume brings together new articles from prominent scholars that focus on the innovative ideas and methods that Williams developed as part of his distinctive "outlook" in ethics. The chapters in the first section examine Williams's attempts to explore theoretical options beyond the confines of what he called the "morality system." The contributors show how, through a critical confrontation (...)
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  25.  42
    Compatibilism, Common Sense, and Prepunishment.Matthew Talbert - 2009 - Public Affairs Quarterly 23 (4):325-335.
    We “prepunish” a person if we punish her prior to the commission of her crime. This essay discusses our intuitions about the permissibility of prepunishment and the relationship between prepunishment and compatibilism about free will and determinism. It has recently been argued that compatibilism has particular trouble generating a principled objection to prepunishment. The failure to provide such an objection may be a problem for compatibilism if our moral intuitions strongly favor the prohibition of prepunishment. In defense of compatibilism, I (...)
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  26.  38
    Christian List: Why Free Will is Real: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019. Hardback € 22.50. 215 Pp.Matthew Talbert - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (5):1121-1124.
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  27.  17
    Christian List: Why Free Will is Real.Matthew Talbert - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (5):1121–1124.
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  28.  29
    Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life, by Derk Pereboom. New York: Oxford University Press.Matthew Talbert - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):248-252.
  29.  43
    Judgmental alternatives, empathy, and moral responsibility.Matthew Talbert - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):973-980.
    In Responsibility From the Margins, David Shoemaker distinguishes three forms of responsibility: attributability, answerability, and accountability. The introduction of various normative competence requirements lends precision to the contrasts that Shoemaker draws between these forms of responsibility. I argue, however, that these competence requirements are less well motivated than Shoemaker supposes, which raises the possibility that we cannot distinguish between forms of responsibility in the way that he hopes.
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  30.  43
    Mapping Responsibility: Explorations in Mind, Law, Myth, and Culture.Matthew Talbert - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):130-133.
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  31.  26
    The Moral Responsibility of Child Soldiers and the Case of Dominic Ongwen.Matthew Talbert & Jessica Wolfendale - unknown
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  32. Unwitting Behavior and Responsibility.Matthew Talbert - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (1):139-152.
    Unlike much work on responsibility, George Sher's new book, Who Knew?: Responsibility Without Awareness , focuses on the relationship between knowledge and responsibility. Sher argues against the view that responsibility depends on an agent's awareness of the nature and consequences of her action. According to Sher's alternative proposal, even agents who are unaware of important features of their actions may be morally or prudentially responsible for their behavior. While I agree with many of Sher's central conclusions, I explore the worry (...)
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  33.  19
    Coates, D. Justin, and Tognazzini, Neal A., eds. Blame: Its Nature and Norms.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 318. $29.95. [REVIEW]Matthew Talbert - 2014 - Ethics 124 (3):603-608.
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  34.  20
    Review of Carlos J. Moya, Moral Responsibility: The Ways of Scepticism[REVIEW]Matthew Talbert - 2006 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (8).
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  35.  21
    Review of Nick Smith, I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies[REVIEW]Matthew Talbert - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (10).
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