David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Papers 39 (3):373-399 (2011)
Most moral theorists agree that it is one thing to believe that someone has slighted you and another to resent her for the insult; one thing to believe that someone did you a favor and another to feel gratitude toward her for her kindness. While all of these ways of responding to another's conduct are forms of moral appraisal, the reactive attitudes are said to 'go beyond' beliefs in some way. We think this claim is adequately explained only when we take seriously the fact that reactive attitudes are emotions. In this paper, we appeal to insights of the emotions literature to highlight one key way in which reactive attitudes go beyond beliefs: beliefs about a person and her morally significant conduct merely ascribe to the person the property of having performed a morally significant action, while reactive attitudes are ways of experiencing that person as having performed a morally significant action. We then suggest that appreciating this is a crucial first step toward understanding why reactive emotions play roles in our practices around responsibility that beliefs do not.
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References found in this work BETA
Stephen L. Darwall (2006). The Second-Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability. Harvard University Press.
Martha C. Nussbaum (2001). Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas Scanlon (2008). Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
R. Jay Wallace (1996). Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments. Harvard University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
Coleen Macnamara (2013). “Screw You!” & “Thank You”. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):893-914.
Coleen Macnamara (2015). Reactive Attitudes as Communicative Entities. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):546-569.
Chad Van Schoelandt (2015). Justification, Coercion, and the Place of Public Reason. Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1031-1050.
Judith Suissa (2013). Tiger Mothers and Praise Junkies: Children, Praise and the Reactive Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47 (1):1-19.
Neal A. Tognazzini (2013). Blameworthiness and the Affective Account of Blame. Philosophia 41 (4):1299-1312.
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