*I am very grateful to Marcelo Ferrante, Joshua Gert, Allen Habib, and Michael Zimmerman for their criticisms and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper.
Can There Be Full Excuses for Morally Wrong Actions?*
Article first published online: 1 AUG 2007
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
Volume 73, Issue 1, pages 124–142, July 2006
How to Cite
RIVERA-LÓPEZ, E. (2006), Can There Be Full Excuses for Morally Wrong Actions?. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 73: 124–142. doi: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2006.tb00607.x
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 1 AUG 2007
Most people (and philosophers) distinguish between performing a morally wrong action and being blameworthy for having performed that action, and believe that an individual can be fully excused for having performed a wrong action. My purpose is to reject this claim. More precisely, I defend what I call the “Dependence Claim”: A's doing X is wrong only if A is blameworthy for having done X. I consider three cases in which, according to the traditional view, a wrong action could be excused: duress, mental illness, and mistake. I try to show that the reasons for excusing in either case are not relevantly distinguishable from the reasons for claiming that the prima facie wrong action is not wrong all things considered.