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Blame and Norms
Research Project: Epistemology: Current Themes
15th June 2017 - 16th June 2017
The notion of blame has historically been central to much work in ethics. What is it to blame someone and what is it for someone to be blameworthy? It’s widely accepted that one can be blameless for violating a norm, say because one has an overriding reason to do so. More recently, the idea that whether one conforms to a norm can come apart from whether one is blameworthy has become central to epistemology. Much recent work focuses on the idea that there are epistemic norms for activities or states, such as the suggestion that assertion or practical reasoning is governed by a knowledge norm. Just as in the ethical case, we should expect that whether one conforms to the norm and whether one is blameless can come part. Indeed, this idea has been used to defend the idea that knowledge is the norm of assertion and practical reasoning. Further, some epistemologists have been interested in how blame might be instrumental in shaping social practices, such as testimony, and what it might tell us about the nature of epistemic norms governing such practices.
This workshop aims to bring together work on blame from both epistemology and ethics to cast light on the nature of blame, and the conditions under which one blamelessly violates a norm or conforms to it but in a blameworthy way.
Thursday 15th June
10 00 – 11 30 Jessica Brown (St Andrews) Epistemic Blame
11 45 – 13 15 Brian Weatherson (St Andrews) Thick Moral Ignorance
14 30 – 16 00 Paulina Sliwa (Cambridge) Reverse-Engineering Blame
16 15 – 17 45 Dana Nelkin (UCSD) Equal Opportunity: A Unifying Framework for Moral and Epistemic Responsibility
19 00 Workshop dinner
Friday 16th June
09 30 – 11 00 Elinor Mason (Edinburgh) How Do I Blame Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…
11 15 – 12 45 Rik Peels (VU Amsterdam) Blameworthy Belief: In the Absence of Doxastic Obligations
14 00 – 15 30 Elizabeth Harman (Princeton) Does Reasonable or Justified Moral Ignorance Exculpate?
This event is open to all philosophers in Scotland and beyond and is made possible by the generous support of the Scots Philosophical Association
Other events in Epistemology: Current Themes
Jul 2019: Group Agency and Belief Workshop
Dec 2015: Epistemic Incoherence
Jan 2016: Philosophical Progress
May 2016: Testimony and Context
May 2016: Complex Disagreement
Jun 2016: Sensing Strange Things
Dec 2017: Metaphysics of Knowledge Workshop II