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Record identifier : 565466
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Zaragoza, Kevin
Title and statement of responsibility : A moral psychology of blame [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : Princeton University, 2005
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D.
Body granting the degree : , Princeton University
Summary or Abstract : Moral blame requires certain representations of its objects. I can blame a bee for stinging me, provided that I somehow regard the bee as a morally responsible agent. I can blame you for wearing shoes, provided that I somehow think that wearing shoes is an offense against me. This dissertation argues that this standard account of the representations presupposed by blame underestimates the psychological complexity which grounds our practices of assigning moral praise and blame. In a series of related papers, I argue that philosophical analyses of the normative attributions associated with blaming practices require more sophisticated accounts of the psychological mechanisms which produce and govern individual action and interpersonal interaction. Understanding blame requires a better account of the psychological facts. The first chapter argues against the standard Humean account of psychological compulsion on the grounds that it cannot accommodate certain phenomenological features of compulsion that have been observed by clinical psychologists. Drawing on this psychological data, I propose a new model of compulsion based on a revision of the Humean model of action that assigns a more central role to the inhibitory activity of the will. The second chapter argues against the widespread view that regarding an action as an offense involves attributing moral or normative properties to the action. Instead, I claim that the psychological state used to determine behavior in a particular context of interpersonal interaction is used to characterize actions as offenses. The third chapter extends the idea that characterizing blame requires an account of the psychological properties of the blamer. By appealing to certain puzzles involving our treatment of children and adolescents, I argue the appropriateness of blame can only be assessed relative to the cognitive capacities of the blamer. The fourth chapter elaborates on the idea that certain psychological states which model particular types of interpersonal interactions are implicated in determining behavior. Building on the work of Bishop Butler, I argue that it is possible to account for the apparent authority of moral motivations by positing psychological models of behavioral situations which serve to delimit the agent's perceived range of available actions..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Philosophy
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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