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Department Colloquium: Renee Jorgensen

Renee Jorgensen
April 5, 2024
3:45PM - 5:45PM
353 University Hall

Date Range
2024-04-05 15:45:00 2024-04-05 17:45:00 Department Colloquium: Renee Jorgensen "What We Owe Others Under Ignorance"Many philosophers think that the individual members of a society are not blameworthy for the beliefs and expectations that they absorb from their community, in the absence of reason to suspect that they are unjust. Many also think that an individual should be sanctioned or reproached for his action only if he is in some way blameworthy for it. These two commitments together would imply that when, under the influence of bad but widely accepted social norms, a person misreads someone as consenting or attacking and so in fact assaults them while sincerely believing themselves to be acting permissibly, the community can acknowledge that the victim has been wronged, but would overstep if they directly reproached or condemned the mistaken agent’s behavior. In this talk, I argue that, particularly when bad norms are widely endorsed, in order to adequately recognize and repair the victim’s moral injury ex post, communities must sanction the behavior of individuals whose bad-norm-conforming behavior caused injury. So, individual culpability for the mistake cannot be a necessary condition on apt censure.Renee Jorgensen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan.  353 University Hall Department of Philosophy philosophy@osu.edu America/New_York public

"What We Owe Others Under Ignorance"

Many philosophers think that the individual members of a society are not blameworthy for the beliefs and expectations that they absorb from their community, in the absence of reason to suspect that they are unjust. Many also think that an individual should be sanctioned or reproached for his action only if he is in some way blameworthy for it. These two commitments together would imply that when, under the influence of bad but widely accepted social norms, a person misreads someone as consenting or attacking and so in fact assaults them while sincerely believing themselves to be acting permissibly, the community can acknowledge that the victim has been wronged, but would overstep if they directly reproached or condemned the mistaken agent’s behavior. In this talk, I argue that, particularly when bad norms are widely endorsed, in order to adequately recognize and repair the victim’s moral injury ex post, communities must sanction the behavior of individuals whose bad-norm-conforming behavior caused injury. So, individual culpability for the mistake cannot be a necessary condition on apt censure.

Renee Jorgensen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan.