Being Sympathetic to Bad-History Wrongdoers

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (1):147-169 (2021)
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For many philosophers, bad-history wrongdoers are primarily interesting because of what their cases might tell us about the interaction of moral responsibility and history. However, philosophers focusing on blameworthiness have overlooked important questions about blame itself. These bad-history cases are complicated because blame and sympathy are both fitting. When we are careful to consider the rich natures of those two reactions, we see that they conflict in several important ways. We should see bad-history cases as cases about whether and how we should blame, rather than as cases giving us ready insight into the nature of moral responsibility.

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Craig K. Agule
Rutgers University - Camden

Citations of this work

Defending Elective Forgiveness.Craig K. Agule - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10.

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References found in this work

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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