Eugene Chislenko, ‘Scanlon’s Theories of Blame’

… What sort of reaction is blame? Scanlon’s remarks on this topic raise an exegetical question, whose importance has not been investigated in detail. ‘To claim that a person is blameworthy for an action’, Scanlon writes, ‘is to claim that the action shows something about the agent’s attitudes toward others that impairs the relations that others can have with him or her’. Blame ‘refects this impairment’. This ‘refecting’ is, as Scanlon puts it, more than evaluation, but not a kind of sanction. But when we ask how blame refects the impairment of a relationship, his answer varies. I will argue that Scanlon’s remarks in Moral Dimensions diverge sharply, in ways that suggest multiple, fundamentally diferent theories of blame. These theories have not been clearly distinguished, either by Scanlon or by his commentators …

Eugene Chislenko, Scanlon’s Theories of Blame. Journal of Value Inquiry. First Online: 13 July 2019.

First posted 2019-07-14 11:24:00

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