Higher Seminar in Practical Philosophy: Gunnar Björnsson


Date: Tuesday 21 November 2023

Time: 13.15 – 15.00

Location: D734

Outcome luck and the nature of blame and praise


A central disagreement in the theory of responsibility concerns outcome luck. If someone unjustifiably risks harming, can their degree of blameworthiness be affected by whether anyone is actually  harmed as a result? If someone does their best to help an important cause, can their degree of praiseworthiness be affected by whether they succeed? Some think so, but many have the strong intuition that the answer is negative: the agent would be equally blame- or  praiseworthy whether or not the outcome materializes. I have previously argued against the reliability of such intuitions. In  this talk, however, I suggest that attention to the nature of moral  blame and praise should lead us to revise the questions themselves.