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Bibliography: Blame in Normative Ethics
  1. Valuing Blame.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2013 - In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. Oxford University Press.
    Blaming (construed broadly to include both blaming-attitudes and blaming-actions) is a puzzling phenomenon. Even when we grant that someone is blameworthy, we can still sensibly wonder whether we ought to blame him. We sometimes choose to forgive and show mercy, even when it is not asked for. We are naturally led to wonder why we shouldn’t always do this. Wouldn’t it be a better to wholly reject the punitive practices of blame, especially in light of their often undesirable (...)
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  2. Blame, Communication, and Morally Responsible Agency.Coleen Macnamara - 2015 - In Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna & Angela Smith (eds.), The Nature of Moral Responsibility: New Essays. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 211-236.
    Many important theorists – e.g., Gary Watson and Stephen Darwall – characterize blame as a communicative entity and argue that this entails that morally responsible agency requires not just rational but moral competence. In this paper, I defend this argument from communication against three objections found in the literature. The first two reject the argument’s characterization of the reactive attitudes. The third urges that the argument is committed to a false claim.
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  3. Blame It on Disappointment: A Problem for Skepticism About Angry Blame.Leonhard Menges - 2020 - Public Affairs Quarterly 34 (2):169-184.
    Blame skeptics argue that we have strong reason to revise our blame practices because humans do not fulfill all the conditions for it being appropriate to blame them. This paper presents a new challenge for this view. Many have objected that blame plays valuable roles such that we have strong reason to hold on to our blame practices. Skeptics typically reply that non-blaming responses to objectionable conduct, like forms of disappointment, can serve the positive functions (...)
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  4. Blame.D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2014 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In this entry we provide a critical review of recent work on the nature and ethics of blame, including issues of moral standing.
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  5. Blame: Its Nature and Norms.D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.) - 2013 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    One mark of interpersonal relationships is a tendency to blame. But what precise evaluations and responses constitute blame? Is it most centrally a judgment, or is it an emotion, or something else? Does blame express a demand, or embody a protest, or does it simply mark an impaired relationship? What accounts for its force or sting, and how similar is it to punishment?The essays in this volume explore answers to these questions about the nature of blame, (...)
  6. Epistemic Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (8):e12762.
    This paper provides a critical overview of recent work on epistemic blame. The paper identifies key features of the concept of epistemic blame and discusses two ways of motivating the importance of this concept. Four different approaches to the nature of epistemic blame are examined. Central issues surrounding the ethics and value of epistemic blame are identified and briefly explored. In addition to providing an overview of the state of the art of this growing but controversial (...)
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  7. Blame, Deserved Guilt, and Harms to Standing.Gunnar Björnsson - 2022 - In Andreas Brekke Carlsson (ed.), Self-blame and moral responsibility. Cambridge University Press. pp. 198–216.
    Central cases of moral blame suggest that blame presupposes that its target deserves to feel guilty, and that if one is blameworthy to some degree, one deserves to feel guilt to a corresponding degree. This, some think, is what explains why being blameworthy for something presupposes having had a strong kind of control over it: only given such control is the suffering involved in feeling guilt deserved. This chapter argues that all this is wrong. As evidenced by a (...)
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  8.  30
    Rehabilitating Blame.Samuel Reis-Dennis - 2021 - In Fritz Allhoff & Sandra Bordan (eds.), Ethics and Error in Medicine. New York, NY, USA: pp. 55-68.
    This chapter argues that adequately facing and responding to medical error requires making space for blame. In vindicating blame as a response to medical error, this essay does not advocate a return to a “bad apple” blame culture in which unlucky practitioners are unfairly scapegoated. It does, however, defend the targeted feeling and expression of angry, and even resentful, blaming attitudes toward health-care providers who make at least certain kinds of mistakes. The chapter makes the case that (...)
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  9. Blame as a Volitional Activity.Neal Tognazzini - manuscript
    Blame is fascinating yet elusive, and it is both of these things because it is so complex. It seems to have a cognitive aspect (the belief that someone has done wrong, perhaps), but it also seems to have an emotional aspect (resentment at being disrespected, perhaps). And then of course there is the outside-of-the-head aspect of blame, which manifests itself in rebukes and reprimands, accusations and distrust, cold shoulders and estrangement. Still, accounts of blame that identify it (...)
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  10.  50
    Blame in the Aftermath of Excused Wrongdoing.Adam Piovarchy - 2020 - Public Affairs Quarterly 34 (2):142-168.
    Control accounts of moral responsibility argue that agents must possess certain capacities in order to be blameworthy for wrongdoing. This is sometimes thought to be revisionary, because reflection on our moral practices reveals that we often blame many agents who lack these capacities. This paper argues that Control accounts of moral responsibility are not too revisionary, nor too permissive, because they can still demand quite a lot from excused wrongdoers. Excused wrongdoers can acquire duties of reconciliation, which require that (...)
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  11.  22
    The Problem of Blame: Making Sense of Moral Anger.Kelly McCormick - 2022 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    This book makes a case for the permissibility of reactive blame – the angry, harmful variety. Blame is a thorny philosophical problem, as it is notoriously difficult to specify the conditions under which an agent is deserving of blame, is deserving of blame in the basic sense, and furthermore why this is so. Kelly McCormick argues that sharpening the focus to reactive, angry blame can both show us how best to characterize the problem itself, and (...)
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  12. Praise, Blame and the Whole Self.Nomy Arpaly & Timothy Schroeder - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 93 (2):161-188.
    What is that makes an act subject to either praise or blame? The question has often been taken to depend entirely on the free will debate for an answer, since it is widely agreed that an agent’s act is subject to praise or blame only if it was freely willed, but moral theory, action theory, and moral psychology are at least equally relevant to it. In the last quarter-century, following the lead of Harry Frankfurt’s (1971) seminal article “Freedom (...)
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  13. Blaming God for Our Pain: Human Suffering and the Divine Mind.M. Wegner Daniel & Gray Kurt - unknown
    Believing in God requires not only a leap of faith but also an extension of people’s normal capacity to perceive the minds of others. Usually, people perceive minds of all kinds by trying to understand their conscious experience (what it is like to be them) and their agency (what they can do). Although humans are perceived to have both agency and experience, humans appear to see God as possessing agency, but not experience. God’s unique mind is due, the authors suggest, (...)
     
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  14.  18
    Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility.Andreas Carlsson (ed.) - 2022 - New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    Self-blame is an integral part of our lives. We often blame ourselves for our failings and experience familiar unpleasant emotions such as guilt, shame, regret, or remorse. Self-blame is also what we often aim for when we blame others: we want the people we blame to recognize their wrongdoing and blame themselves for it. Moreover, self-blame is typically considered a necessary condition for forgiveness. However, until now, self-blame has not been an integral (...)
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  15. Blame, Not Ability, Impacts Moral “Ought” Judgments for Impossible Actions: Toward an Empirical Refutation of “Ought” Implies “Can”.Vladimir Chituc, Paul Henne, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2016 - Cognition 150 (C):20-25.
    Recently, psychologists have explored moral concepts including obligation, blame, and ability. While little empirical work has studied the relationships among these concepts, philosophers have widely assumed such a relationship in the principle that “ought” implies “can,” which states that if someone ought to do something, then they must be able to do it. The cognitive underpinnings of these concepts are tested in the three experiments reported here. In Experiment 1, most participants judge that an agent ought to keep a (...)
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  16.  9
    Causal Blame.Eugene Chislenko - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (4):347-58.
    We blame faulty brakes for a car crash, or rain for our bad mood. This “merely causal” blame is usually seen as uninteresting. I argue that it is crucial for understanding the interpersonal blame with which we target ourselves and each other. The two are often difficult to distinguish, in a way that plagues philosophical discussions of blame. And interpersonal blame is distinctive, I argue, partly in its causal focus: its attention to a person as (...)
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  17. Epistemic Blame and the Normativity of Evidence.Sebastian Schmidt - 2021 - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The normative force of evidence can seem puzzling. It seems that having conclusive evidence for a proposition does not, by itself, make it true that one ought to believe the proposition. But spelling out the condition that evidence must meet in order to provide us with genuine normative reasons for belief seems to lead us into a dilemma: the condition either fails to explain the normative significance of epistemic reasons or it renders the content of epistemic norms practical. The first (...)
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  18. Hypocritical Blame, Fairness, and Standing.Cristina Roadevin - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (1-2):137-152.
    This paper argues that hypocritical blame renders blame inappropriate. Someone should not express her blame if she is guilty of the same thing for which she is blaming others, in the absence of an admission of fault. In failing to blame herself for the same violations of norms she condemns in another, the hypocrite evinces important moral faults, which undermine her right to blame. The hypocrite refuses or culpably fails to admit her own mistakes, while (...)
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  19. Exorcising Blame Through a Contract with God : A Girardian Analysis of Will Eisner's Graphic Novel.Daniel DeForest London - 2021 - In Ryan G. Duns & T. Derrick Witherington (eds.), René Girard, theology, and pop culture / [edited by] Ryan G. Duns and T. Derrick Witherington. Lexington Books/Fortress Academic.
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  20. Moral Blame and Moral Protest.Angela Smith - 2013 - In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. Oxford University Press.
     
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  21. A Comprehensive Account of Blame: Self-Blame, Non-Moral Blame, and Blame for the Non-Voluntary.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In Andreas Brekke Carlsson (ed.), Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge:
    Blame is multifarious. It can be passionate or dispassionate. It can be expressed or kept private. We blame both the living and the dead. And we blame ourselves as well as others. What’s more, we blame ourselves, not only for our moral failings, but also for our non-moral failings: for our aesthetic bad taste, gustatory self-indulgence, or poor athletic performance. And we blame ourselves both for things over which we exerted agential control (e.g., our voluntary (...)
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  22. The Contours of Blame.D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2013 - In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. Oxford University Press. pp. 3-26.
    This is the first chapter to our edited collection of essays on the nature and ethics of blame. In this chapter we introduce the reader to contemporary discussions about blame and its relationship to other issues (e.g. free will and moral responsibility), and we situate the essays in this volume with respect to those discussions.
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  23. Civilizing Blame.V. McGeer - 2013 - In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. Oxford University Press. pp. 162--188.
  24. Blame and Avoidability: A Reply to Otsuka.John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2010 - The Journal of Ethics 14 (1):43 - 51.
    In a fascinating recent article, Michael Otsuka seeks to bypass the debates about the Principle of Alternative Possibilities by presenting and defending a different, but related, principle, which he calls the “Principle of Avoidable Blame.” According to this principle, one is blameworthy for performing an act only if one could instead have behaved in an entirely blameless manner. Otsuka claims that although Frankfurt-cases do undermine the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, they do not undermine the Principle of Avoidable Blame. (...)
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  25.  67
    Private Blame.Julia Driver - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (2):215-220.
    This paper explores a problem for Michael McKenna’s conversation model of moral responsibility that views blame as characteristically part of a conversational exchange. The problem for this model on which this paper focuses is the problem of private blame. Sometimes when we blame we do so without any intention to engage in a communicative exchange. It is argued that McKenna’s model cannot adequately account for private blame.
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  26. Against Blaming the Blameworthy.Bob Fischer - 2015 - In Ben Bramble & Bob Fischer (eds.), The Moral Complexities of Eating Meat. Oxford University Press. pp. 185-198.
    We tend not to blame those who eat meat--even if they are blameworthy for so doing. Some think that this is a moral failure on the part of vegetarians and vegans. My aim here, however, is to argue that this isn't so. In short, I argue that if it would be unreasonable to demand that someone behave in a particular way, then we shouldn’t blame her for failing to behave in that way. But it would be unreasonable to (...)
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  27. Blaming Badly.Mark Alicke - 2008 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 8 (1-2):179-186.
    Moral philosophers, legal theorists, and psychologists who study moral judgment are remarkably agreed in prescribing how to blame people. A blameworthy act occurs when an actor intentionally, negligently or recklessly causes foreseen, or foreseeable, harmful consequences without any compelling mitigating or extenuating circumstances. This simple formulation conveniently forestalls intricacies about how to construe concepts such as will, causation, foresight, and mitigation, but putting that aside for the moment, it seems fair to say that blame “professionals” share compatible conceptions (...)
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  28. Blame, Moral Standing and the Legitimacy of the Criminal Trial.R. A. Duff - 2010 - Ratio 23 (2):123-140.
    I begin by discussing the ways in which a would-be blamer's own prior conduct towards the person he seeks to blame can undermine his standing to blame her. This provides the basis for an examination of a particular kind of 'bar to trial' in the criminal law – of ways in which a state or a polity's right to put a defendant on trial can be undermined by the prior misconduct of the state or its officials. The examination (...)
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  29. Blame and Responsiveness to Moral Reasons: Are Psychopaths Blameworthy?Matthew Talbert - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (4):516-535.
    Abstract: Many philosophers believe that people who are not capable of grasping the significance of moral considerations are not open to moral blame when they fail to respond appropriately to these considerations. I contend, however, that some morally blind, or 'psychopathic,' agents are proper targets for moral blame, at least on some occasions. I argue that moral blame is a response to the normative commitments and attitudes of a wrongdoer and that the actions of morally blind agents (...)
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  30.  93
    Blame After Forgiveness.Maura Priest - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (3):619-633.
    When a wrongdoing occurs, victims, barring special circumstance, can aptly forgive their wrongdoers, receive apologies, and be paid reparations. It is also uncontroversial, in the usual circumstances, that wronged parties can aptly blame their wrongdoer. But controversy arises when we consider blame from third-parties after the victim has forgiven. At times it seems that wronged parties can make blame inapt through forgiveness. If third parties blame anyway, it often appears the victim is justified in protesting. “But (...)
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  31. Blame: Taking It Seriously.Michelle Mason - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):473-481.
    Philosophers writing on moral responsibility inherit from P.F. Strawson a particular problem space. On one side, it is shaped by consequentialist accounts of moral criticism on which blame is justified, if at all, by its efficacy in influencing future behavior in socially desirable ways. It is by now a common criticism of such views that they suffer a "wrong kind of reason" problem. When blame is warranted in the proper way, it is natural to suppose this is because (...)
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  32.  18
    Justifying Blame: Why Free Will Matters and Why It Does Not.Maureen Sie (ed.) - 2005 - Rodopi.
    This book shows why we can justify blaming people for their wrong actions even if free will turns out not to exist. Contrary to most contemporary thinking, we do this by focusing on the ordinary, everyday wrongs each of us commits, not on the extra-ordinary, “morally monstrous-like” crimes and weak-willed actions of some.
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  33.  85
    Why Blame?Mehmet Gurdal, Joshua B. Miller & Aldo Rustichini - unknown
    We provide experimental evidence that subjects blame others based on events they are not responsible for. In our experiment an agent chooses between a lottery and a safe asset; payment from the chosen option goes to a principal who then decides how much to allocate between the agent and a third party. We observe widespread blame: regardless of their choice, agents are blamed by principals for the outcome of the lottery, an event they are not responsible for. We (...)
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  34. Luck, Blame, and Desert.Michael Cholbi - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (2):313-332.
    T.M. Scanlon has recently proposed what I term a ‘double attitude’ account of blame, wherein blame is the revision of one’s attitudes in light of another person’s conduct, conduct that we believe reveals that the individual lacks the normative attitudes we judge essential to our relationship with her. Scanlon proposes that this account justifies differences in blame that in turn reflect differences in outcome luck. Here I argue that although the double attitude account can justify blame’s (...)
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  35.  46
    Blame and Protest.Eugene Chislenko - 2019 - The Journal of Ethics 23 (2):163-181.
    In recent years, philosophers have developed a novel conception of blame as a kind of moral protest. This Protest View of Blame faces doubts about its intelligibility: can we make sense of inner ‘protest’ in cases of unexpressed blame? It also faces doubts about its descriptive adequacy: does ‘protest’ capture what is distinctive in reactions of blame? I argue that the Protest View can successfully answer the first kind of doubt, but not the second. Cases of (...)
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  36.  93
    True Blame.Randolph Clarke & Piers Rawling - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
    A true-emotion view of blameworthiness holds that one is blameworthy for an offense just in case one is a fitting target of a blaming emotion in response to that offense, and a blaming emotion is fitting just in case it truly represents things. Proportionality requires that fitting blame be of the right size, neither an overreaction nor an underreaction to the offense. Here it is argued that this requirement makes trouble for a true-emotion view. Instances of blaming emotions can (...)
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  37. Blame, Forgiveness, and Honor in Aristotle and Beyond.Carissa Phillips-Garrett - 2017 - Dissertation, Rice University
    Many contemporary discussions of forgiveness assume forgiveness is fundamentally admirable. Examining Aristotle’s account, however, demonstrates that there is a tension between desert and forgiveness that is often overlooked in contemporary discussions. Through examining the neglected concept of sungnōmē, which forestalls blame, I conclude that Aristotelian blame is justified only on grounds of fairness. This conclusion is evidence that Aristotelian blame is not merely an instrumental or descriptive tool, but rather a way of holding agents morally accountable. Through (...)
     
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  38.  44
    Blame for Me and Not for Thee: Status Sensitivity and Moral Responsibility.Henry Argetsinger - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (2):265-282.
    In our day-to-day lives, we form responsibility judgements about one another – but we are imperfect beings, and our judgments can be mistaken. This paper suggests that we get things wrong not merely by chance, but predictably and systematically. In particular, these miscues are common when we are dealing with large gaps in social status and power. That is, when we form judgements about those who are much more or less socially powerful than ourselves, it is increasingly likely that “epistemic (...)
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  39.  31
    Blame, Punishment, and the Role of Result.Richard Parker - 1984 - American Philosophical Quarterly 21 (3):269 - 276.
  40. Addressed Blame and Hostility.Benjamin De Mesel - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (1):111-119.
    Benjamin Bagley ('Properly Proleptic Blame', Ethics 127, July 2017) sets out a dilemma for addressed blame, that is, blame addressed to its targets as an implicit demand for recognition. The dilemma arises when we ask whether offenders would actually appreciate this demand, via a sound deliberative route from their existing motivations. If they would, their offense reflects a deliberative mistake. If they wouldn't, addressing them is futile, and blame's emotional engagement seems unwarranted. Bagley wants to resolve (...)
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  41. Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
    The illusory appeal of double effect -- The significance of intent -- Means and ends -- Blame.
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  42. Misplaced Blame: Decades of Failing Schools, Their Children, and Their Teachers.Bonnie Johnson - 2021 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Misplaced Blame: Decades of Failing Schools, Their Children and Their Teachers examines the underlying causes of why schools fail.
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  43. No Blame No Gain? From a No Blame Culture to a Responsibility Culture in Medicine.Joshua Parker & Ben Davies - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):646-660.
    Healthcare systems need to consider not only how to prevent error, but how to respond to errors when they occur. In the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, one strand of this latter response is the ‘No Blame Culture’, which draws attention from individuals and towards systems in the process of understanding an error. Defences of the No Blame Culture typically fail to distinguish between blaming someone and holding them responsible. This article argues for a ‘responsibility culture’, where healthcare (...)
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  44. Praise, Blame, Obligation, and DWE: Toward a Framework for Classical Supererogation and Kin.Paul McNamara - 2011 - Journal of Applied Logic 9 (2):153-170.
    Continuing prior work by the author, a simple classical system for personal obligation is integrated with a fairly rich system for aretaic (agent-evaluative) appraisal. I then explore various relationships between definable aretaic statuses such as praiseworthiness and blameworthiness and deontic statuses such as obligatoriness and impermissibility. I focus on partitions of the normative statuses generated ("normative positions" but without explicit representation of agency). In addition to being able to model and explore fundamental questions in ethical theory about the connection between (...)
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  45.  23
    Hypocritical Blame: A Question for the Normative Accounts of Assertion.Ivan Milić - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1543-1549.
    An agent A blames B hypocritically for violating a moral norm N if and only if: A is likewise blameworthy for violating N, and A is not disposed to blame herself for violating N. Normally, an assertion involving blame is retracted following the objection that and hold. I discuss two prima facie explanations for such a withdrawal: that the objection hampers the speaker’s assertoric authority, rendering and the necessary condition to assert, and that the joint condition is, instead, (...)
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  46.  53
    In Praise of Blame.George Sher - 2005 - Oup Usa.
    Blame is an unpopular and neglected notion: it goes against the grain of a therapeutically-oriented culture and has been far less discussed by philosophers than such related notions as responsibility and punishment. This book seeks to show that neither the opposition nor the neglect is justified. The book's most important conclusion is that blame is inseperable from morality itself - that any considerations that justify us in accepting a set of moral principles must also call for the condemnation (...)
  47.  9
    Blaming the Victims: Silencing Women Sexually Exploited by Psychotherapists.Catherine Nugent - 1994 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 15 (1-2):113-138.
    This paper articulates a radical feminist analysis of psychotherapist-patient sexual exploitation, a problem that has affected an estimated one million North American women. I argue that such exploitation is rooted in misogynous attitudes that pervade the major institutions in contemporary culture, including the mental health professions. I examine ways that mental health professionals use sexist constructs and language to blame victims for their abuse. Through textual analysis of a series of letters and articles by prominent psychiatrists, I show that (...)
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  48.  13
    Blame as a Sentiment.Marta Johansson Werkmäster - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (3):239-253.
    The nature of blame is not to be identified solely with a judgment, or an overt act, or an angry emotion. Instead, blame should be identified with a sentiment: more specifically, a multi-track disposition that manifests itself in various different emotions, thoughts or actions in a range of different circumstances. This paper aims to argue for these two claims. I start by arguing that blame is not solely a judgment, overt act, or an angry emotion. Then I (...)
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  49. Less Blame, Less Crime? The Practical Implications of Moral Responsibility Skepticism.Neil Levy - 2015 - Journal of Practical Ethics 3 (2):1-17.
    Most philosophers believe that wrongdoers sometimes deserve to be punished by long prison sentences. They also believe that such punishments are justified by their consequences: they deter crime and incapacitate potential offenders. In this article, I argue that both these claims are false. No one deserves to be punished, I argue, because our actions are shot through with direct or indirect luck. I also argue that there are good reasons to think that punishing fewer people and much less harshly will (...)
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  50. On Blaming and Punishing Psychopaths.Marion Godman & Anneli Jefferson - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (1):127-142.
    Current legal practice holds that a diagnosis of psychopathy does not remove criminal responsibility. In contrast, many philosophers and legal experts are increasingly persuaded by evidence from experimental psychology and neuroscience indicating moral and cognitive deficits in psychopaths and have argued that they should be excused from moral responsibility. However, having opposite views concerning psychopaths’ moral responsibility, on the one hand, and criminal responsibility, on the other, seems unfortunate given the assumption that the law should, at least to some extent, (...)
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