Manipulation Arguments and the Standing to Blame
by Matt King
The majority of recent work on the moral standing to blame (the idea that A may be unable to legitimately blame B despite B being blameworthy) has focused on blamers who themselves are blameworthy. This is unfortunate, for there is much to learn about the standing to blame once we consider a broader range of cases. Doing so reveals that challenged standing is more expansive than previously acknowledged, and accounts that have privileged the fact that the blamers are themselves morally culpable likely require revision. One such account figures in Patrick Todd’s (2012) argument for incompatibilism, which ostensibly depends on considerations involving the standing to blame. I believe this argument fails. But its failure is instructive, for it allows us to appreciate the numerous ways in which one’s blame can be morally problematic, and hence ways in which one’s standing to blame can be challenged. Thus, while one objective of this paper is to show why Todd’s argument fails, the larger aim is to use that argument to frame discussion of some important (and novel) ways in which the standing to blame can be compromised.
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