Dismissing blame

Justin Snedegar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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When someone blames you, you might accept the blame or you might reject it, challenging the blamer’s interpretation of the facts or providing a justification or excuse. Either way, there are opportunities for edifying moral discussion and moral repair. But another common, and less constructive, response is to simply dismiss the blame, refusing to engage with the blamer. Even if you agree that you are blameworthy, you may refuse to engage with the blame—and, specifically, with blame coming from this particular person. This is a common response if the blamer is being hypocritical or meddlesome in blaming the wrongdoer. This paper aims to make sense of this kind of response: What are we doing when we dismiss blame? A common thought is that we dismiss demands issued by blame, but we still must identify the content of the relevant demands. My proposal is that when we dismiss blame, we dismiss a demand to respond to the blame with a second-personal expression of remorse to the blamer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-494
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Ethics and Social Philosophy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2024

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