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Coleen Macnamara
University of California, Riverside
  1. Reactive Attitudes as Communicative Entities.Coleen Macnamara - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):546-569.
    Many theorists claim that the reactive emotions, even in their private form, are communicative entities. But as widely endorsed as this claim is, it has not been redeemed: the literature lacks a clear and compelling account of the sense in which reactive attitudes qua private mental states are essentially communicative. In this paper, I fill this gap. I propose that it is apt to characterize privately held reactive attitudes as communicative in nature because they, like many paradigmatic forms of communication, (...)
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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. Taking Demands Out of Blame.Coleen Macnamara - 2013 - In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 141-161.
    The idea that demands are a key constituent of any analysis of the negative reactive attitudes is rarely challenged, enjoying a freedom from scrutiny uncommon in philosophy. In this paper I press on this orthodox view, arguing that there are broadly speaking, three ways in which the term ‘demand’ is used in discussions of the negative reactive attitudes and that each is problematic.
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  4. Holding Others Responsible.Coleen Macnamara - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (1):81-102.
    Theorists have spent considerable time discussing the concept of responsibility. Their discussions, however, have generally focused on the question of who counts as responsible, and for what. But as Gary Watson has noted, “Responsibility is a triadic relationship: an individual (or group) is responsible to others for something” (Watson Agency and answerability: selected essays, 2004 , p. 7). Thus, theorizing about responsibility ought to involve theorizing not just about the actor and her conduct, but also about those the actor is (...)
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  5. “Screw You!” & “Thank You”.Coleen Macnamara - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):893-914.
    If I do you a good turn, you may respond with gratitude and express that gratitude by saying “Thank you.” Similarly, if I insult you, you may react with resentment which you express by shouting, “Screw you!” or something of the sort. Broadly put, when confronted with another’s morally significant conduct, we are inclined to respond with a reactive attitude and to express that reactive attitude in speech. A number of familiar speech acts have a call-and-response structure. Questions, demands and (...)
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  6. Beyond Belief: Toward a Theory of the Reactive Attitudes.Elisa A. Hurley & Coleen Macnamara - 2010 - Philosophical Papers 39 (3):373-399.
    Most moral theorists agree that it is one thing to believe that someone has slighted you and another to resent her for the insult; one thing to believe that someone did you a favor and another to feel gratitude toward her for her kindness. While all of these ways of responding to another's conduct are forms of moral appraisal, the reactive attitudes are said to 'go beyond' beliefs in some way. We think this claim is adequately explained only when we (...)
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    Guilt, Desert, Fittingness, and the Good.Coleen Macnamara - 2020 - The Journal of Ethics 24 (4):449-468.
    Desert-realists maintain that those who do wrong without an excuse deserve blame. Desert-skeptics deny this, holding that though we may be responsible for our actions in some sense, we lack the kind of responsibility needed to deserve blame. In two recent papers, Randolph Clarke advances an innovative defense of desert-realism. He argues for deserved-guilt, the thesis that the guilty deserve to feel guilt. In his 2013 paper, Clarke suggests two strategies for defending deserved-guilt: the fitting-guilt strategy and the good-guilt strategy. (...)
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