David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):427-445 (2003)
This paper looks at judgments of guilt in the face of alleged wrong-doing, be it in public or in private discourse. Its concern is not the truth of such judgments, although the complexity and contestability of such claims will be stressed. The topic, instead, is what sort of activities we are engaged in, when we make our judgments on others' conduct. To examine judging as an activity it focuses on a series of problems that can occur when we blame others. On analysis, we see that these problems take the form of performative contradictions, so that the ostensible purposes of assigning guilt to others are undermined.There is clear evidence from social psychology that blame is especially frequently and inappropriately attributed to individuals in modern Western societies. On the other hand, it has often been observed how suspicious we are about the activity of judging – thus a widespread perception that a refusal to judge is somehow virtuous. My suggestion is that the sheer difficulty of attributions of responsibility, in the face of a complex and often arbitrary moral reality, frequently defeats us. This leads to a characteristic set of distortions when we blame, so that it is no surprise that we have become suspicious of all blaming activities.
|Keywords||Philosophy Ethics Ontology Political Philosophy|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Michelle Ciurria (2013). Situationism, Moral Responsibility and Blame. Philosophia 41 (1):179-193.
Similar books and articles
Mark Alicke (2008). Blaming Badly. Journal of Cognition and Culture 8:179-186.
Matthew Talbert (2008). Blame and Responsiveness to Moral Reasons: Are Psychopaths Blameworthy? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):516-535.
Jacqueline J. Goodnow & Pamela M. Warton (1996). Direct and Indirect Responsibility: Distributing Blame. Journal of Moral Education 25 (2):173-184.
John R. Danley (2005). Polishing Up the Pinto. Business Ethics Quarterly 15 (2):205-236.
Garrath Williams, Praise and Blame. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mike W. Martin (2001). Responsibility for Health and Blaming Victims. Journal of Medical Humanities 22 (2):95-114.
Pamela Hieronymi (2004). The Force and Fairness of Blame. Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):115–148.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads36 ( #56,120 of 1,410,151 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #107,954 of 1,410,151 )
How can I increase my downloads?