Chapter

Choice, Character, and Excuse

Michael Moore

in Placing Blame

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199599493
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594649 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599493.003.0013
Choice, Character, and Excuse

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Having rejected the causal theory of excuse in chapter 12, it remains to ascertain what would be a good theory of the excuses. Two such theories are examined, the choice theory and the character theory. Both theories of excuse depend on deeper theories about the true desert basis for responsibility. The choice theory regards choice as the touchstone of culpability, so that excuses have the function of filtering out when either diminished capacity or limited opportunity render otherwise culpable choices non-blameworthy. The character theory regards character as the touchstone of culpability, so that excuses have the function of filtering out those actions not expressive of bad character and exempting those actors from blame. Reasons are given to prefer the choice theory of excuse.

Keywords: choice; character; excuse; causation; compulsion; opportunity; capacity; negligence

Chapter.  19472 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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