David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophia 41 (1):179-193 (2013)
In Moral philosophy meets social psychology, Gilbert Harman argues that social psychology can educate folk morality to prevent us from committing the ‘fundamental attribution error,’ i.e. ‘the error of ignoring situational factors and overconfidently assuming that distinctive behaviour or patterns of behaviour are due to an agent’s distinctive character traits’ (Harman, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 99, 315–331, 1999). An overview of the literature shows that while situationists unanimously agree with Harman on this point, they disagree on whether we also tend to commit a kind of fundamental attribution error with respect to moral responsibility and blame. Do we also tend to ignore situational factors and overconfidently assume that people are morally responsible and blameworthy for their distinctive patterns of wrongful behaviour? Very few scholars have addressed this issue, and none has ever given a comprehensive account of moral responsibility and blame from a situationist perspective. In this paper, I argue that situationist social psychology impugns subjective theories of responsibility and blame which focus on the agent’s inner states and supports an objective theory—namely, the standard of the reasonable person. I defend this standard as a tool for moral appraisal, and then I refute the common misperception that this approach lets most perpetrators off the hook and poses a threat to society.
|Keywords||Situationism Moral responsibility Blame Character Reasonable person Holocaust|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
John M. Doris (2002). Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. Cambridge University Press.
Miranda Fricker (2007). Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Oxford University Press.
Gilbert Harman (1999). Moral Philosophy Meets Social Psychology: Virtue Ethics and the Fundamental Attribution Error. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1999):315-331.
Rachana Kamtekar (2004). Situationism and Virtue Ethics on the Content of Our Character. Ethics 114 (3):458-491.
John M. Doris (1998). Persons, Situations, and Virtue Ethics. Noûs 32 (4):504-530.
Citations of this work BETA
Joshua Shepherd (2015). Scientific Challenges to Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Compass 10 (3):197-207.
Similar books and articles
D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (2012). The Nature and Ethics of Blame. Philosophy Compass 7 (3):197-207.
Marion Smiley (2010). From Moral Agency to Collective Wrongs: Re-Thinking Collective Moral Responsibility. Journal of Law and Policy (1):171-202.
Matthew Talbert (2008). Blame and Responsiveness to Moral Reasons: Are Psychopaths Blameworthy? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):516-535.
Mike W. Martin (2001). Responsibility for Health and Blaming Victims. Journal of Medical Humanities 22 (2):95-114.
Manuel Vargas (forthcoming). Situationism and Moral Responsibility: Free Will in Fragments. In Tillman Vierkant, Julian Kiverstein & Andy Clark (eds.), Decomposing the Will. Oxford UP
Marion Smiley (1992). Moral Responsibility and the Boundaries of Community. University of Chicago Press.
Mark Alznauer (2008). Hegel on Legal and Moral Responsibility. Inquiry 51 (4):365 – 389.
Patricia Marino (2001). Moral Dilemmas, Collective Responsibility, and Moral Progress. Philosophical Studies 104 (2):203 - 225.
Garrath Williams, Praise and Blame. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Andrew Eshleman, Moral Responsibility. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Neal Judisch (2007). Reasons-Responsive Compatibilism and the Consequences of Belief. Journal of Ethics 11 (4):357 - 375.
Added to index2012-08-07
Total downloads62 ( #66,872 of 1,792,922 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #206,581 of 1,792,922 )
How can I increase my downloads?