Authors
Leonhard Menges
University of Salzburg
Abstract
At first sight, moral blame is an unpleasant thing. No one likes being blamed and few people like experiencing the negative emotions associated with blaming others. Therefore, some suggest a radical reform of our everyday moral life: We should replace our tendency to blame wrongdoers with a tendency to criticize them in a less harmful and more productive way. The blameless fight for the good by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi may exemplify this alternative. Many philosophers, however, think that such a reform would be bad. In this discussion note, I will focus on R. Jay Wallace’s claim that our tendency to blame wrongdoers stands in relation to some important good such that we would necessarily lose this good if we stopped blaming each other. He argues that blaming wrongdoers expresses one’s commitment to morality in a special way and that no other response could serve this function. I will show that there are forms of moral sadness in our psychological repertoire that differ from blame but have the same expressive dimension that blame is supposed to have. Thus, I will suggest that the question of whether we should try to get rid of our tendency to blame is still open.
Keywords Blame  R. Jay Wallace  Reactive Attitudes  Resentment  Indignation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.26556/jesp.v8i1.159
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,694
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Emotional Construction of Morals.Jesse Prinz - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Conversation and Responsibility.Michael McKenna - 2011 - Oxford University Press USA.
Civilizing Blame.V. McGeer - 2013 - In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. Oxford University Press. pp. 162--188.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Emotion Account of Blame.Leonhard Menges - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (1):257-273.
Blame and Protest.Eugene Chislenko - 2019 - The Journal of Ethics 23 (2):163-181.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Rebukes and Social Avoidance.Linda Radzik - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (4):643-661.
Responsible Psychopaths.Patricia S. Greenspan - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (3):417 – 429.
Basic Desert of Reactive Emotions.Zac Cogley - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):165-177.
‘Hate the Sin but Not the Sinner’: Forgiveness and Condemnation.Kelly Hamilton - 2009 - South African Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):114-123.
Can Emotions Communicate?Trip Glazer - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):234-242.
The Three-Fold Significance of the Blaming Emotions.Zac Cogley - 2013 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 205-224.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-04-10

Total views
98 ( #106,604 of 2,438,590 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #113,053 of 2,438,590 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes