David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (2):131-156 (2010)
In this article I ask how moral relativism applies to the analysis of responsibility for mass crime. The focus is on the critical reading of two influential relativist attempts to offer a theoretically consistent response to the challenges imposed by extreme criminal practices. First, I explore Gilbert Harman’s analytical effort to conceptualize the reach of moral discourse. According to Harman, mass crime creates a contextually specific relationship to which moral judgments do not apply any more. Second, I analyze the inability thesis, which claims that the agents of mass crime are not able to distinguish between right and wrong. Richard Arneson, Michael Zimmerman and Geoffrey Scarre do not deny the moral wrongness of crime. However, having introduced the claim of authenticity as a specific feature of the inability thesis, they maintain that killers are not responsible. I argue that these positions do not hold. The relativist failure to properly conceptualize responsibility for mass crime follows from the mistaken view of moral autonomy, which then leads to the erroneous explanation of the establishment, authority and justification of moral judgments
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Charles Sayward (1989). Do Moral Explanations Matter? Philosophy Research Archives 14:137-142.
Byron L. Haines (1993). A Critique of Harman's Empiric Relativism. Journal of Philosophical Research 18:97-107.
Miranda Fricker (2010). The Relativism of Blame and Williams's Relativism of Distance. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 84 (1):151-177.
Charles Sayward (1988). System Relativism. Ratio 1 (2):163-175.
Seungbae Park (2011). Defence of Cultural Relativism. Cultura. International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology 8 (1):159-170.
William L. Langenfus (1988). A Problem for Harman's Moral Relativism. Philosophy Research Archives 14:121-136.
James Beebe (2010). Moral Relativism in Context. Noûs 44 (4):691-724.
Added to index2010-02-03
Total downloads53 ( #25,161 of 1,088,374 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,374 )
How can I increase my downloads?