Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 131–142 | Cite as

Moral Blameworthiness and the Reactive Attitudes

Article

Abstract

In this paper, I present and defend a novel version of the Reactive Attitude account of moral blameworthiness. In Section 1, I introduce the Reactive Attitude account and outline Allan Gibbard’s version of it. In Section 2, I present the Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem, which has been at the heart of much recent discussion about the nature of value, and explain why a reformulation of it causes serious problems for versions of the Reactive Attitude account such as Gibbard’s. In Section 3, I consider some ways in which Gibbard might attempt to avoid the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem. I argue that all of these ways fail to achieve their aim and further contend that the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem cannot be solved in a sufficiently convincing manner by the widely used method of making ad hoc distinctions among kinds of properties, kinds of attitudes, and kinds of reasons. In Section 4, I sketch my own version of the Reactive Attitude account of moral blameworthiness and show that it simply avoids the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem rather than attempting to solve the problem on a piecemeal basis.

Keywords

Metaethics Moral blameworthiness Reactive attitudes Gibbard 

References

  1. Blackburn S (1993) Essays on quasi-realism. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Blackburn S (1998) Ruling passions. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  3. Brannmark J (2008) Excellence and means: on the limits of buck—passing. J Value Inq 42:301–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Broome J (2004) Reasons. In: Wallace RJ et al (eds) Reasons and value: Themes from the moral philosophy of Joseph Raz. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Crisp, R (1999) Review of Kupperman, value...and what follows. Philosophy 75Google Scholar
  6. Crisp R (2005) Value, reasons, and the structure of justification. Analysis 65:80–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crisp R (2006) Reasons and the good. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crisp R (2008) Goodness and reasons: accentuating the negative. Mind 117:257–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crisp R (2000) Contractualism and the good. Philos Books 41:235–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dancy J (2000) Should we pass the buck? In: O’Hear A (ed) Philosophy, the good, the true and the beautiful. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  11. Dancy J (2004) Ethics without principles. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Danielsson S, Olson J (2007) Brentano and buck-passers. Mind 116:511–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. D’Arms J, Jacobson D (2000) Sentiment and value. Ethics 110:722–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ewing AC (1947) The definition of good. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Frankfurt H (1971) Freedom of the will and the concept of a person. Journal of Philosophy 68:5–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gettier E (1963) Is knowledge justified true belief? Analysis 23:121–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gibbard A (1990) Wise choices, apt feelings. Harvard Belknap, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  18. Greenspan P (1995) Practical guilt: Moral dilemmas, emotions, and social norms. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  19. Heuer U (2006) Explaining reasons: where does the buck stop? Journal of Ethics and Soc Phil 1Google Scholar
  20. Kavka G (1983) The toxin puzzle. Analysis 43:33–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Korsgaard C (1983) Two distinctions in goodness. Philos Rev 92:169–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lemos N (1994) Intrinsic value. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nozick R (1981) Philosophical explanations. Harvard Belknap, Cambridge, MassGoogle Scholar
  24. Olson J (2004) Buck-passing and the wrong kind of reasons. Philos Q 54:295–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Olson J (2006) G.E. Moore on goodness and reasons. Australas J Philos 84:525–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parfit D (1984) Reasons and persons. Claredon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. Parfit D (2001) Reasons and rationality. In: Egonsson D et al (eds) Exploring practical philosophy: From action to values. Aldershot, AshgateGoogle Scholar
  28. Parfit D (2011b). On What Matters. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  29. Rabinowicz W, Rønnow-Rasmussen T (2004). The strike of the demon. Ethics 114Google Scholar
  30. Rabinowicz W, Rønnow-Rasmussen T (2005) Buck-passing and the right kind of reasons. Philos Q 55Google Scholar
  31. Raz J (2009) Between authority and interpretation. Oxford University Press: OxfordGoogle Scholar
  32. Rønnow-Rasmussen T (2008) Buck-passing personal values. In: Chan D (ed) Moral psychology today: Values, rational choice and the will. Springer, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  33. Scanlon TM (1998) What we owe to each other. Harvard Belknap, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  34. Skorupski J (2007) Buck-Passing about Goodness. In: Rønnow-Rasmussen, T (ed) Philosophical papers dedicated to Wlodek. <http://www.fil.lu.se/hommageawlodek/site/papper/SkorupskiJohn.pdf> Accessed November 2007
  35. Stratton-Lake P (2003b) Scanlon, permission, and redundancy. Analysis 67Google Scholar
  36. Stratton-Lake, P (2003a) Scanlon’s contractualism and the redundancy objection. Analysis 67Google Scholar
  37. Stratton-Lake P (2005) How to deal with evil demons. Ethics 115Google Scholar
  38. Stratton-Lake P, Hooker B (2006) Scanlon versus Moore on goodness. In: Horgan T, Timmons M (eds) Meta-ethics after Moore. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  39. Strawson P (1962) Freedom and resentment. In: Freedom and resentment and other Essays. Methuen: LondonGoogle Scholar
  40. Suikkanen J (2005) Reasons and value: In Defense of the Buck-Passing Account. Ethical Theory and Moral Pract 7Google Scholar
  41. Vayrynen P (2006) Resisting the buck-passing account of value. Oxford Stud in Meta-Ethics 1Google Scholar
  42. Wallace R (1994) Responsibility and the moral sentiments. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MassGoogle Scholar
  43. Wallace RJ (2002) Scanlon’s contractualism. Ethics 112Google Scholar
  44. Wallace R (2006) Normativity and the will. Clarendon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  45. Zimmerman M (2001) The nature of intrinsic value. Rowman and Littlefield, LanhamGoogle Scholar
  46. Zimmerman M (2007) The good and the right. Utilitas 19Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. (outside the USA)  2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyU.S. Air Force AcademyColorado SpringsUSA

Personalised recommendations