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BLAME AND WRONGDOING

  • Jessica Brown

Abstract

The idea that one can blamelessly violate a norm is central to ethics and epistemology. The paper examines the prospects for an account of blameless norm violation applicable both to norms governing action and norms governing belief. In doing so, I remain neutral on just what are the norms governing action and belief. I examine three leading suggestions for understanding blameless violation of a norm which is not overridden by another norm: (1) doxastic accounts; (2) epistemic accounts; and (3) appeal to expected value. We see that all of these accounts face problems when understood as accounts of blameless norm violation applicable to both belief and action. This leaves a variety of options including (1) seeking an alternative account of blameless norm violation common to belief and action; (2) concluding that we cannot determine the correct account of blameless norm violation independently of what are the norms of belief; and (3) abandoning the project of finding a common account of blameless norm violation common to ethics and epistemology.

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References

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