Authors
Benjamin Matheson
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Per-Erik Milam
University of California, San Diego (PhD)
Abstract
Non-moral blame seems to be widespread and widely accepted in everyday life—tolerated at least, but often embraced. We blame athletes for poor performance, artists for bad or boring art, scientists for faulty research, and voters for flawed reasoning. This paper argues that non-moral blame is never justified—i.e. it’s never a morally permissible response to a non-moral failure. Having explained what blame is and how non-moral blame differs from moral blame, the paper presents the argument in four steps. First, it argues that many (perhaps most) apparent cases of non-moral blame are actually cases of moral blame. Second, it argues that even if non-moral blame is pro tanto permissible—because its target is blameworthy for their substandard performance—it often (perhaps usually) fails to meet other permissibility conditions, such as fairness or standing. Third, it goes further and challenges the claim that non-moral blame is ever even pro tanto permissible. Finally, it considers a number of arguments in support of non-moral obligations and argues that none of them succeed.
Keywords non-moral blame  blame  aesthetic blame  athletic blame  epistemic blame  non-moral responsibility  non-moral obligations  obligations
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References found in this work BETA

Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Harvard University Press.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Responsibility From the Margins.David Shoemaker - 2015 - Oxford University Press.

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