Diversity and Moral Address

Daphne Brandenburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article evaluates communicative approaches to responsibility within the Strawsonian tradition. These approaches consider reactive attitudes to be forms of moral address and consider responsiveness to moral address a condition on responsible agency. The article consists of a critical and a positive part. In the first part, I identify a risk for these theories. They often provide an overly narrow account of how we can communicate with others about perceived moral disregard. I argue that, when read this way, a conversational approach has implausible implications and falls prey to a familiar objection to Strawsonian theory: it would incorporate social injustices inherent to our responsibility practices. In particular, it would affirm ableist attitudes towards autistic individuals, by exempting them as moral agents on the basis of irrelevant criteria. In the second part, I propose an inclusive reading of the communicative approach. This inclusive account steers clear of ableism towards autistic individuals and accommodates diversity. Although it is also derived from our practices and psychologies, it does not incorporate the biases and injustices that are part of those practices, and instead it provides us with a means to criticize them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-644
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2022

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