Browsing All posts tagged under »Blame«

Psychopaths and Moral Responsibility: The State of the Debate

January 20, 2015 by

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My 5th post over at Flickers is up, check it out here. I’ve copied and pasted it below for those not interested in clicking (and following comments). Cheers! In the last post I suggested that moral responsibility may not come in degrees and based on the discussion that ensued it seems that we are pretty […]

Optimistic Skepticism and Forward-Looking Blame

January 8, 2015 by

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Below you can find the post in its entirety. Click here to see the original at flickers of freedom and to join in the discussion if you see fit. OPTIMISTIC SKEPTICISM AND FORWARD-LOOKING BLAME Many philosophers (1) have spent substantial time wrestling with, expanding on, and arguing against the central ideas put forth in P.F. Strawson’s […]

Martha Nussbaum, “What is Anger, and Why Should We Care?”

January 16, 2014 by

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Martha Nussbaum has given a very nice talk on why anger is “of dubious value in both life and the law“, the talk can be found here. Although it seems obvious that anger can be bad for our well-being and is often associated with acts of malice and bad intent (and rightfully so), I do […]

Do Incompatibilists Have Inconsistent Intuitions?

December 20, 2013 by

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Incompatibilism, for our purposes here, is the view that the sort free will required for moral responsibility is not compatible with determinism. In a few recent studies there seems to be an apparent disconnect between  incompatibilist intuitions when asked compatibility questions in a different way. On the one hand, in abstract cases the folk seem […]

Moral Responsibility and PAP: Can we uphold PAP and advance a “quality of the will” account of moral responsibility?

December 20, 2013 by

Comments Off on Moral Responsibility and PAP: Can we uphold PAP and advance a “quality of the will” account of moral responsibility?

Recently, over at PEA Soup, Heath White blogged about an important question concerning moral responsibility and control. The question was: Does moral responsibility require the ability to do otherwise? PAP (or, the “principle of alternative possibilities) is the principle that says: If S is blameworthy for doing X, S must have been able to do otherwise than […]

Moral Responsibility and Volunteer Soldiers

December 3, 2013 by

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When considering one’s moral responsibility we often take voluntariness into account and with good reason. If one was forced to commit some action against their will we usually claim that they are not morally responsible for what they did. We say this because, all things being equal, they didn’t voluntarily commit the act. Similarly, if […]

Does Blameworthiness Require Wrongdoing?

February 11, 2013 by

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A commonly held presupposition is that a person can be blameworthy only for acts that are considered morally wrong. I’ll refer to this as the ‘blameworthiness requires wrongness’ (BW) principle. Recently, a few philosophers began denying this principle citing cases where it is morally permissible to act in a certain way even though such acts […]

The Nature of Blame

September 26, 2012 by

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What is the nature of blame? Recently, I took my prelim exam in the Philosophy of Mind and one of the questions I answered was on the reactive attitudes and their effect on how we perceive what the nature of blame is. I found the question quite intriguing, and, the purpose of this post will be […]

The ‘Free Will Problem’

August 13, 2012 by

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The purpose of this post is simple; to navigate through some of the different positions one could take regarding the ‘problem of free will‘. I’ve been asked by some to go over the basics, so, here it goes. I’ll define the major terms internal to the debate  to give readers a bit more context and […]

Free Will: Why Sam Harris needs to read more Philosophy

July 29, 2012 by

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In his book ‘Free Will’ (2012) Sam Harris offers up the conclusion that “free will is an illusion”. I can’t say that I’m surprised given the fact that  many neuroscientists have offered up similar responses to the free will problem (Libet 83′, 99′, 01′, 03′, among others) . But, falling in line with Libet and other neuroscientists […]

James Holmes: How his case can shed light on discussions of Moral Responsibility.

July 24, 2012 by

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In a recent blog post in Scientific American the author, Larry Geenemeier, suggests that the accused Colorado Shooter was lacking cognitive control and points specifically to one’s cognitive ability in order to try to make sense of the actions in Aurora, Colorado and other recent events by similarly profiled assailants. Though I agree that we […]

Forgiveness: How does it work?

June 12, 2012 by

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My current philosophical interests are centered around the metaphysics of moral responsibility. This forces me to deal with the assumed underlying epistemic and control conditions. It also forces me to consider blame; when one is worthy of it (blameworthiness), how we normally ascribe it (active blame), and how we move from blame and holding one […]

Is ‘Flopping’ a Form of Cheating in Basketball?

June 6, 2012 by

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Yesterday, while watching game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals I witnessed a flop in the 4th quarter by Boston Celtics player Ray Allen. Watching him flop (by flop I am referring to acting as if a player was fouled when in fact the player wasn’t in an attempt to convince the refs that […]

Psychopaths: Morally Responsible?

May 24, 2012 by

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In April I gave a talk at a Free Will/ Moral Responsibility conference  near my hometown in Massachusetts on the culpability of psychopaths. There, I argued that psychopaths are morally responsible for their actions because they have the necessary cognitive mechanisms one needs to properly judge an action as morally right or morally wrong. Now […]