European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):926-941 (2020)

Authors
Daniel Telech
Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Abstract
A neglected and non-trivial problem exists for a central cluster of Strawsonian accountability theories of moral responsibility, namely those that, following Gary Watson, understand the reactive attitudes to be implicit forms of moral address, particularly moral demand. The problem consists in the joint acceptance of two claims: (a) Accountability is a matter of agents holding one another to moral demands, and (b) accountability is a view of blame and praise. I label joint acceptance of these claims the Strawsonian’s demand dogma. Symptomatic of a larger tendency among responsibility theorists to focus on blame to the neglect of its positive counterpart, the demand dogma saddles the Strawsonian with an impoverished and ultimately untenable view of praise. This is because moral demand occupies a dual role on the Strawsonian's view of blame, one that it is incapable of occupying for praise. For, demands figure not only in the contents of blame responses; demand typifies the form of these responses themselves. That is, reactive attitudes of blame, unlike those of praise, implicitly make demands of their targets. The force of this problem is highlighted by considering the inadequacy of various strategies for shoehorning “demand” into our conception of praise. If reactive attitudes generally are incipient forms of moral address, praise-manifesting attitudes must communicate something other than demand. Though primarily critical, this paper invites Strawsonian responsibility theorists to give renewed attention to the foundations of the proposal that the reactive attitudes are incipiently communicative, focusing this time on the form of address that lies at the heart of praise.
Keywords Moral Address  Reactive Attitudes  P.F. Strawson  Praise  Blame
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/ejop.12527
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: 68,975
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Free Agency.Gary Watson - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
Two Faces of Responsibility.Gary Watson - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):227-248.

View all 41 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Praise as Moral Address.Daniel Telech - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 7.
The Communication Argument and the Pluralist Challenge.Shawn Tinghao Wang - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (5):384-399.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Responsibility, Reactive Attitudes and Free Will: Reflections on Wallace’s Theory.Robert Kane - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):693-698.
On the Formalization of Strawson's Presupposition.Jacek Malinowski - 2006 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 91 (1):111-118.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-02-22

Total views
63 ( #179,335 of 2,498,172 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #171,347 of 2,498,172 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes