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Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Volume 8$
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Mark C. Timmons

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198828310

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198828310.001.0001

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Moral Responsibility without Wrongdoing or Blame

Moral Responsibility without Wrongdoing or Blame

Chapter:
(p.124) 6 Moral Responsibility without Wrongdoing or Blame
Source:
Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Volume 8
Author(s):

Julie Tannenbaum

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198828310.003.0007

In most discussions of moral responsibility, an agent’s moral responsibility for harming or failing to aid is equated with the agent’s being blameworthy for having done wrong. In this paper, it is argued that one can be morally responsible for one’s action even if the action was not wrong, not blameworthy, and not the result of blameworthy deliberation or bad motivation. This makes a difference to how we should relate to each other and ourselves in the aftermath. Some people have blown off their responsibility when they shouldn’t have, and others have held themselves responsible—or second and third parties have held them responsible—as if they were wrongdoers and blameworthy when neither is the case.

Keywords:   moral responsibility, blame, blameworthy, wrong, agent-regret, moral luck, bad luck, fault, mere failure

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