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Reading: Perspectivalism and Blaming


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Perspectivalism and Blaming


Dana Ann

Western Washington University, US
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Using the combination of two views of blame (T. M. Scanlon and J. J. C Smart), I will argue in favor of a thesis I refer to as perspectivalism; that blame from the perspective of a third party is fundamentally a different sort of thing than blame from the perspective of an injured party. Using both examples that focus on hypocrites and moral luck cases, I will attempt to give reasons to why perspectivalism has strong explanatory value. Focusing on cases that involve hypocrites, I will attempt to show that two statements about hypocrites are true if we accept perspectivalism. First, that as many philosophers have noted, hypocrites lose their standing to blame from a third party perspective. Second, utilizing my new understanding of blaming as the injured party, I will conclude that hypocrites retain their standing to blame in virtue of their relationship to the wrong doing. In the case of the moral luck examples, I will give an example that shows the complexity that the two types of blame described. Ultimately, I will be arguing that a correct general theory of blame must take into consideration the blamer’s placement relative to an instance of wrongdoing using the explanatory value of the hypocrite cases.

How to Cite: Ann, D., 2016. Perspectivalism and Blaming. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 8(2), pp.14 (132–138). DOI:
Published on 24 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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