Blameworthiness and Wrongness

Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (2):135-146 (2011)
It is commonly held that agents can be blameworthy only for acts that are morally wrong. But the claim, when combined with a plausible assumption about wrongness, leads to an implausible view about blameworthiness. The claim should be rejected. Agents can be blameworthy for acts that are not morally wrong. We will take up the claim in terms of three initially appealing, but jointly inconsistent propositions. The significance of noting the inconsistency is motivated by a consideration of a number of theorists who have held, or at least flirted with, all three propositions. The best way to resolve the inconsistency is to reject the claim that blameworthiness requires wrongness. There are good reasons to conclude that a different relation between blameworthiness and wrongness can garner more intuitive support than the alternatives.
Keywords moral responsibility  blameworthiness  wrongness  ought  moral luck
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DOI 10.1007/s10790-011-9272-2
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