Reasonable foreseeability and blameless ignorance
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This paper draws attention to a fundamental problem for a version of the tracing strategy defended by a number of theorists in the current literature (Rosen in Philos Perspect 18(1):295–313, 2004; Fischer and Tognazzini in Noûs, 43(3):531–556, 2009). I argue that versions of the tracing strategy that require reasonable foreseeability (rather than actual foresight) are in tension with the view that blameless ignorance excuses. A stronger version of the tracing strategy (i.e., one that requires actual foresight) is consistent with the view that blameless ignorance excuses and is therefore preferable for those tracing theorists who wish to continue maintaining that it does.
KeywordsTracing Tracing strategy Ignorance Awareness Blameworthiness
I am grateful to Randolph Clarke, John Fischer, Justin Capes, Kyle Fritz, Gabriel De Marco, Yishai Cohen, and Benjamin Matheson for helpful feedback on earlier drafts of this paper. I am also grateful to the participants at the Moscow State University Free Will and Moral Responsibility Summer School 2014 for comments on an earlier draft of this paper. In addition, I would like to thank Andrew Martin for a thoughtful conversation about this paper.