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Epistemology Seminar: Jessica Brown, “But We Didn’t Know!”
26th September 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
In this paper, I examine a neglected issue in the literature on group responsibility, the issue of when groups have an excuse through ignorance for wrongdoing. Many philosophers accept that groups can be responsible and potentially blameworthy for their actions. If that’s the case, then it seems that groups may also potentially have excuses for wrong actions in the way that individuals do. One kind of excuse in the case of individuals is an excuse from ignorance. Indeed, groups blamed for wrongdoing sometimes attempt to excuse that wrongdoing by appeal to ignorance; they claim that they didn’t know, or weren’t aware of the relevant factors. The main focus of this paper is to develop a new account of when a group acts from blameless ignorance.