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Abstract

Using the combination of two views of blame from T. M. Scanlon and J. J. C. Smart, I will support my thesis perspectivalism, that blame from the perspective of a third party is fundamentally different than blame from the perspective of an injured party. By presenting examples that illustrate common beliefs concerning hypocrites and cases involving moral luck, I will give reasons as to why perspectivalism has strong explanatory value, and also provide motivation for considering blame as a complex topic requiring a pluralist theory. In doing this, I will show that two statements about hypocrites are true if we accept perspectivalism. First, as many philosophers have noted, hypocrites lose their standing to blame from a third party perspective. Second, with my new understanding of blaming as the injured party, I will conclude that hypocrites retain their standing to blame in the injured perspective in virtue of their relationship to the wrong doing. In the case of the moral luck examples, I will illustrate the complexity that comes from having two types of blame. Ultimately, I will argue that a correct general theory of blame must consider the position of the blamer relative to an instance of wrongdoing, using the explanatory value of the hypocrite cases, without taking a stand on a specific theory of blame.

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