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The Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law is delighted to invite Professor Julia Driver to lead the opening event of the 2022/23 KJuris (King's Legal Philosophy Workshops) programme. Prof. Driver is Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin and will deliver a presentation on her paper, Blame and Moral Criticism



'Blame and Moral Criticism'



"Writers such as Dana Nelkin and Stephen Darwall argue that (BW) the only actions which are blameworthy are wrong actions. However, there are some actions, such as the suberogatory, which are blameworthy because they are morally bad and display poor quality of the will, but nevertheless do not constitute wrongdoing. For example, sometimes people will stand of their rights in cases where the balance of moral reasons suggest they not do so: I may be entitled to a particular seat on the airplane, for example, but I may nevertheless be blameworthy for not giving it up in certain circumstances. A defender of (BW) can argue that the actions which are termed ‘suberogatory’ are either actually wrong or not actually blameworthy. This paper explores how a defender of (BW) might develop the latter alternative. In order to account for the intuitions that support the existence of genuine suberogatory actions the defender of (BW) needs to distinguish between blame and a form of negative evaluation that is not blame, but a form of moral criticism. Some writers have tried to do this by arguing that we can attribute bad characteristics to others without blaming them.

In this paper I put pressure on that analysis, arguing that although we can certainly make such a distinction between blame and moral criticism, that distinction will not solve the problem of the suberogatory for defenders of (BW). "


Speaker’s Bio:

Julia Driver is Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University. She works in normative ethics, moral psychology, and metaethics. Her publications include Uneasy Virtue, Ethics: The Fundamentals, and Consequentialism, as well as a number of articles in journals such as the Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy, amongst others. She has received an NEH Fellowship, the H.L.A. Hart Fellowship at Oxford University, and the Harsanyi Fellowship at ANU. She is currently President of the Central Division of the American Philosophical Association.



Directed by Professor Lorenzo Zucca and Professor Massimo Renzo, King's Legal Philosophy Colloquium, KJuris, is a forum devoted to works in progress by current internationally-leading legal philosophers and theorists as well as emerging talents from around the world. While the focus is philosophical and jurisprudential, these terms are construed broadly and welcome all rigorous methodological approaches to legal theory.

At this event

Massimo Renzo

Professor of Politics, Philosophy & Law

Lorenzo Zucca

Professor of Law & Philosophy

Event details

SW1.17, The Dickson Poon School of Law, Somerset House East Wing
Strand Campus
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS