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The Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy and Law is delighted to host Professor Scott Hershovitz for the fifth workshop in the 2023/24 KJuris programme.


The Blame Game


In many team sports, there's a taboo against blaming one’s teammates for their mistakes. That’s true even if—especially if—those mistakes are consequential. From a young age, athletes are taught to avoid playing the blame game. It’s partly pragmatic advice. Focus on what you can control, coaches tell kids. But there’s clearly more to it than that. In this paper, I argue that there’s a kind of moral virtue manifest in athlete’s refusal to blame their teammates, even when their teammates are in some sense blameworthy. And I ask what those of us that don’t play team sports can learn from those that do. I suspect the answer is: a lot.

Author Bio

Scott Hershovitz is the Thomas G. and Mabel Long Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan. He directs Michigan’s Law and Ethics Program and co-edits Legal Theory. Hershovitz holds a B.A. in philosophy and politics from the University of Georgia, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Hershovitz served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the author of Nasty, Brutish, and Short: Adventures in Philosophy with Kids (Penguin Press 2022) and Law Is a Moral Practice (HUP 2023).

At this event

Massimo Renzo

Professor of Politics, Philosophy & Law

Todd  Karhu

Lecturer in Philosophy

Event details

Room SW 1.17, The Dickson Poon School of Law, First Floor, Somerset House East Wing, King's College London, Strand WC2R 2LS
Strand Building
Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS