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Placing BlameA Theory of the Criminal Law$
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Michael S. Moore

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599493.001.0001

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Prima Facie Moral Culpability

Prima Facie Moral Culpability

(p.403) 9 Prima Facie Moral Culpability
Placing Blame

Michael Moore (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Overall blameworthiness is seen as a function of two moral properties, wrongdoing and culpability. This chapter and the four next succeeding all deal with culpability. Prima facie moral culpability is prima facie only in the sense that considerations of excuse are temporarily excluded. The chapter gives an overview of possible gradations in degrees of culpability depending on whether a given harm was: desired for its own sake; intended as a means to something else that was desired for its own sake; believed with certainty to follow on one’s actions; believed to some substantial degree of risk to follow on one’s action; unreasonably risked even if not desired, intended, or unaccompanied by any level of predictive belief. These states of intention, desire, belief, and unreasonable risk, constitute the various degrees of prima facie culpability with which a given wrong can be done.

Keywords:   culpability, wrongdoing, intent, foresight, negligence specific intent, motive, recklessness

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