Varieties of hypocrisy and the standing to blame
Jessica Isserow (University of Leeds)

August 9, 2019, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Dianoia Institute for Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

Video Conference Room, Level 4
250 victoria parade
East Melbourne 3002


Australian Catholic University

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It is commonly thought that hypocrisy undermines one’s standing to blame. Jack may blame his friend Gerald for being rude to the local barista, but would seem to lack the standing to do so if he himself had been discourteous to the barista in the past. Recently, it has been suggested that Jack need not have actually committed the relevant moral wrong for his blame to be hypocritical; it would suffice if he would have acted as Gerald did, were he in the same situation. The latter is an instance of subjunctive hypocrisy; Jack is hypocritical not because he has committed the moral wrong in question, but because he would, if only he were given the chance. In this paper, I draw attention to a variety of under-recognised puzzles that the phenomenon of subjunctive hypocrisy raises. I propose that subjunctive hypocrisy gives rise to distinctive concerns relating to moral luck. In addition, I suggest that far fewer individuals may turn out to have the standing to blame than we might have thought.

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