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Haji, Ishtiyaque, , . Moral appraisability: puzzles, proposals, and perplexities
1998, New York: Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Back matter: This book explores the epistemic or knowledge requirement of moral responsibility. Haji argues that an agent can be blamed (or praised) only if the agent harbors a belief that the action in question is wrong (or right or obligatory). Defending the importance of an “authenticity” condition when evaluating moral responsibility, Haji holds that one cannot be morally responsible for an action unless the action issues from sources (like desires or beliefs) that are truly the agent’s own. Engaging crucial arguments in moral theory to elaborate his views on moral responsibility, Haji addresses as well fascinating, underexamined topics such as assigning blame across an intercultural gap and the relevance of unconscious or dream thoughts when evaluating responsibility.

Comment: Chapter 3 is particularly useful in teaching about moral responsibility, free will and determinism. Chapter 12 provides an interesting discussion of relations between blameworthiness and cultural determination.

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Harman, Elizabeth, , . Does moral ignorance exculpate?
2011, Ratio 24 (4):443-468.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: Non-moral ignorance can exculpate: if Anne spoons cyanide into Bill’s coffee, but thinks she is spooning sugar, then Anne may be blameless for poisoning Bill. Gideon Rosen argues that moral ignorance can also exculpate: if one does not believe that one’s action is wrong, and one has not mismanaged one’s beliefs, then one is blameless for acting wrongly. On his view, many apparently blameworthy actions are blameless. I discuss several objections to Rosen. I then propose an alternative view on which many agents who act wrongly are blameworthy despite believing they are acting morally permissibly, and despite not having mismanaged their moral beliefs.1

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Holroyd, Jules, , . Responsibility for Implicit Bias
2012, Journal of Social Philosophy 43(3): 274-306.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Introduction: Philosophers who have written about implicit bias have claimed or implied that individuals are not responsible, and therefore not blameworthy, for their implicit biases, and that this is a function of the nature of implicit bias as implicit: below the radar of conscious reflection, out of the control of the deliberating agent, and not rationally revisable in the way many of our reflective beliefs are. I argue that close attention to the findings of empirical psychology, and to the conditions for blameworthiness, does not support these claims. I suggest that the arguments for the claim that individuals are not liable for blame are invalid, and that there is some reason to suppose that individuals are, at least sometimes, liable to blame for the extent to which they are influenced in behaviour and judgment by implicit biases. I also argue against the claim that it is counter-productive to see bias as something for which individuals are blameworthy; rather, understanding implicit bias as something for which we are liable to blame could be constructive.

Comment: A great paper for a feminist philosophy, critical race theory, moral philosophy, applied ethics course or similar. Holroyd lays out 4 different arguments that we might NOT be blameworthy for harbouring implicit biases in premise-conclusion form, before arguing that they are invalid. Could e.g. break students into groups and ask each group to discuss a different argument and Holroyd’s treatment of it.

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