Explaining loss of standing to blame

Justin Snedegar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Both in everyday life and in moral philosophy, many think that our own past wrongdoing can undermine our standing to indignantly blame others for similar wrongdoing. In recent literature on the ethics of blame, we find two different kinds of explanation for this. Relative moral status accounts hold that to have standing to blame, you must be better than the person you are blaming, in terms of compliance with the norm. Fault-based accounts hold that those who blame others for things of which they are also guilty exhibit familiar moral faults, such as making an exception of oneself, and that these faults explain why they lack standing. I argue in support of relative moral status accounts, showing that they both better trace our practice of dismissing blame on the basis of lack of standing, and that they have more explanatory resources than have been appreciated.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Moral Philosophy
VolumeAdvance Articles
Early online date19 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2023


  • Blame
  • Ethics of blame
  • Hypocrisy
  • Standing to blame
  • Apology


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