Philosophy 290-5

Fall 2019

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-5 Graduate Seminar: Anger, Resentment, Forgiveness, Trust: On Blame and its Normative Assessment Wallace M 12-2 Moses 234

In “Freedom and Resentment”, P. F. Strawson influentially argued that our responsibility practices should be understood in terms of the reactive attitudes, including centrally such emotions as resentment, indignation, and guilt. In this seminar we will look at recent work that has been inspired broadly by this approach, as well as some critical perspectives on it.

Questions to be addressed include the following: What are the reactive attitudes? Insofar as they involve forms of angry disapprobation, can then be defended against critical challenges to anger, such as the claim that it does not make evaluative sense? Is there a constructive role for reactive blame within the context of the unfolding relationship between wrongdoers and their victims? What scope is there for the normative assessment of reactive blame? How is reactive blame overcome in the process of forgiveness? What bearing might the reactive account of blame have on traditional debates about freedom and responsibility?

Readings will include work by Agnes Callard, Miranda Fricker, Pamela Hieronymi, Martha Nussbaum, T. M. Scanlon, Amia Srinivasan, Jay Wallace, Susan Wolf, and others.