Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2391-2409 (2019)

John W. Robison
Indiana University, Bloomington
It is intuitive that, under certain circumstances, it can be disrespectful or patronizing to excuse someone for an attitude. While it is easy enough to find instances where it seems disrespectful to excuse an attitude, matters are complicated. When and why, precisely, is it disrespectful to judge that someone is not responsible for his attitude? In this paper, I show, first, that the extant philosophical literature on this question is underdeveloped and overgeneralized: the writers who address the question suggest quite strikingly that it is always disrespectful to excuse a sane, rational agent for his attitude, and their arguments rely on false generalizations about what is involved in excusing an attitude. I then sketch an account of respect to explain when and why it is disrespectful to excuse an attitude. Using this account, I show that one can coherently excuse an attitude even in some cases where that attitude was produced by a responsiveness to reasons.
Keywords Moral Responsibility  Respect  Responsibility for attitudes  Moral ignorance  Judgment sensitivity
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1132-5
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.

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