Standing to Hold Responsible

In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
Author: James Edwards1
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  • 1 Worcester College

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We often hold others responsible, and are held responsible ourselves. Many philosophers claim that to evaluate such holdings, we must consider the standing of the holder. Many also claim that both hypocrites and meddlers lack standing. Little has been said, however, about what exactly standing is—about what it is that hypocrites and meddlers are supposed to lack. Though talk of standing is now widespread, ‘we do not,’ in Joseph Raz’s words, ‘have an unproblematic grasp of the phenomena referred to’ by such talk. In this paper I attempt to improve that grasp. I offer an account of what it is to have, and lack, standing to hold others responsible. And I offer some reasons why, if this account is accepted, both hypocrites and meddlers should lack standing.

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