Confident Blame: Justifying Judgments of Culpability
Massof, Allison Emily
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Gideon Rosen argues that we should be skeptical of forming any confident judgment of culpability. Since we never know confidently that someone has satisfied the conditions for blameworthiness, we are never justified in forming a judgment of blame. In this paper, I hope to show two things. First, Rosen’s primary argument is far too weak; when applied to praise, his argument yields a more radical skepticism about all judgments of moral responsibility. Second, the conditions Rosen establishes for culpability (which is the real backbone of his argument) are unjustifiably strong. Unlike Rosen’s requirement that the agent perform an akratic action to be culpable, I demonstrate that nonakratic weakness of will (with or without the presence of normative ignorance) is also grounds for culpability. Thus Rosen’s conditions for blame are expanded significantly, and skepticism about judgments of culpability is unwarranted.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2011
- F&M Theses Collection