Criminal Law and Philosophy 1 (1):21-39 (2007)

Authors
Marcia Baron
Indiana University, Bloomington
Abstract
Justifications and excuses are defenses that exculpate. They are therefore much more like each other than like such defenses as diplomatic immunity, which does not exculpate. But they exculpate in different ways, and it has proven difficult to agree on just what that difference consists in. In this paper I take a step back from justification and excuse as concepts in criminal law, and look at the concepts as they arise in everyday life. To keep the task manageable, I focus primarily on excuses and excusing activities, distinguishing them from justifications as well as from other close relatives, in particular, forgiving and pardoning. I draw upon J.L. Austin’s classic A Plea for Excuses, but expand on his account, suggesting that we offer excuses for reasons besides those he mentions. My hope is that my examination of excuses and excusing activities will help us rethink our views on just how justifications and excuses differ, views which often are worked out without much attention to how these concepts function in everyday life and to the connection between offers of excuses and justifications and the rules of civility
Keywords Justification  Excuse  Civility  Forgiving  Pardoning  Holding responsible  Exempting  Blaming  J.L. Austin
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Reprint years 2006, 2007
DOI 10.1007/s11572-006-9001-2
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 50:115-151.
A Plea for Excuses.J. L. Austin - 1964 - In V. C. Chappell (ed.), Ordinary Language: Essays in Philosophical Method. Dover Publications. pp. 1--30.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50 (1):115-152.

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Citations of this work BETA

Justifications, Excuses, and Sceptical Scenarios.Timothy Williamson - forthcoming - In Fabian Dorsch & Julien Dutant (eds.), The New Evil Demon. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Moral Disagreement and Inexcusable Irrationality.Ralph Wedgwood - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):97.
Professionalism, Agency, and Market Failures.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2016 - Business Ethics Quarterly 26 (4):445-464.
No Excuses: Performance Mistakes in Morality.Santiago Amaya & John M. Doris - 2015 - In Jens Clausen & Neil Levy (eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics. Springer. pp. 253-272.

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