Document Type

Research Paper


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.



Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Perspective (Philosophy); Blame


Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.









To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.