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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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Blame for Traits

Blame for Traits

In Praise of Blame

George Sher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The main thesis of this chapter is that agents can be blamed for their bad traits as well as for their bad acts. Because we often cannot help being the sorts of people we are, this thesis is inconsistent with the view that agents can only be blamed for what is (or once was) within their control. However, although that view is widely held, its grounding is not well understood. The chapter’s main argument is that no version of it that applies to traits (as opposed to acts) is defensible.

Keywords:   character, traits, blame, control, fairness

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