top of page

Mon, 11 Nov


Room 234

Claire Field (UCL) Blameworthiness and Epistemic Capacities

How Normative Ignorance (Only) Sometimes Excuses

Time & Location

11 Nov 2019, 16:00 – 18:00

Room 234, Senate House, London WC1B, UK


I argue that false beliefs about what one ought to do can sometimes, but only sometimes, excuse. Whether or not they can excuse, I argue, depends heavily on the agent’s epistemic capacities. I defend a view on whether false normative belief can excuse that disagrees both with views that hold that false normative belief can never excuse, and with those that hold that it always excuses. I argue here that how both these positions are too strong, and instead false normative belief can sometimes excuse, specifically when it is the case that the agent has responded as the reasons that she has the (epistemic) capacity to appreciate demand. One consequence of this view is that many of our ordinary blaming practices need revision – they blame some agents too much, and others too little.

Share this event

bottom of page