PHIL Seminar: “Blame as Attention”, Eugene Chislenko, 12:30Noon March 5 2024 (EN)

Title: Blame as Attention by Eugene Chislenko (Temple, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Time: 1230-1325
Room: H232

Tea/ coffee and snacks provided

Abstract: I introduce two puzzles for conceptions of blame: (1) Ontological Diversity: Why are instances of blame categorized under so many different mental kinds, such as judgment, belief, emotion, action, intention, desire, and combinations of these? (2) Two Uses: Why is “blame” used to describe both interpersonal reactions and mere causal attributions, such as blaming faulty brakes for a car crash? I argue that resolving these puzzles is central to understanding the diversity and the nature of blame, and that existing conceptions do not offer a satisfying resolution. I then introduce a new conception of blame, which I call Blame as Attention. On this view, blame is attention to something as a source of badness. Drawing on recent work on attention and the selectivity of causal judgment, I argue that Blame as Attention offers both an independently appealing conception of blame, and a resolution of both puzzles. The central role of attention in both causal judgment and a variety of mental kinds allows for a unified conception of blame in both personal and merely causal contexts.
About the speaker: Dr. Chislenko attained his PhD in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley. Presently, he is Assistant Professor at Temple University. His research concentrates on ethics and moral psychology, with an emphasis on moral motivation. His scholarly work has been featured in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Ethics, European Journal of Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Synthese, and American Philosophical Quarterly.