Ways to be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness, and Responsibility

Elinor Mason

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

This book examines the relationship between our deontic notions, rightness and wrongness, and our responsibility notions, praise- and blameworthiness. The book presents a pluralistic view of both our deontic concepts and our responsibility concepts, identifying three different ways to be blameworthy. First, ordinary blameworthiness is essentially connected to subjective rightness and wrongness. Subjective obligation and ordinary blameworthiness apply only to those who are within our moral community, that is to say, those who understand and share our value system. By contrast, the second sort of blameworthiness, detached blameworthiness, can apply even when the agent is outside our moral community, and has no sense that her act is morally wrong. We blame agents for acting objectively wrongly, even if we do not have any view about their state of mind in so doing. Finally, the third sort of blameworthiness is ‘extended blameworthiness’, which applies in some contexts where the agent has acted wrongly, and understands the wrongness, but has acted wrongly entirely inadvertently. In such cases the agent is not personally at fault but the social context may be such that she should take responsibility, and thus become blameworthy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9780191872037, 9780192570208
ISBN (Print)9780198833604
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • blameworthiness
  • praiseworthiness
  • praise
  • blame
  • responsibility
  • quality of will
  • subjective obligation
  • subjective wrongness
  • subjective rightness


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