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In Praise of Blame$
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George Sher

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195187427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195187423.001.0001

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The Structure of Blameworthy Action

The Structure of Blameworthy Action

In Praise of Blame

George Sher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter exploits the insight that emerged in the previous chapter — that a bad act may be rooted in an agent’s character without manifesting a defect in that character — to explain how an act’s badness can render an agent blameworthy. According to this explanation, the crucial fact is that the act’s bad-making features can be traced to the interplay of the very same desires, beliefs, and dispositions that also make the agent the person he is. By assigning character this reduced but still substantial role, we can preserve what is important about Hume’s account while avoiding his errors.

Keywords:   Hume, character, dispositions, act, agent, blame, blameworthy

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