Culpable ignorance

a reply to Robichaud

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In earlier work, I argued that agents are blameworthy for their ignorance only when they have akratically failed to take advantage of an opportunity to improve their epistemic situation, because it is only when agents judge that they ought to take such an opportunity that they can reasonably be expected to do so. In response, Philip Robichaud argues that the conditions under which agents may reasonably be expected to improve their epistemic situation are broader than I recognize, and that culpable ignorance is more common that I believe. He also claims to show that my account of internalist reasons cannot do the work I demand of it. In response, I elaborate the conception of 'capacity' my account requires. If we pay attention to the conditions under which it is reasonable to expect an agent to exercise a capacity, I maintain, we can identify a sense of the term that plays the role I want: showing that agents can reasonably be expected to take advantage of an opportunity to improve their epistemic situation only when they would be akratic in not doing so.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-271
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Philosophical Research
Volume41
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • moral responsibility

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