Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Against Moral Responsibility$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bruce N. Waller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016599

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016599.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 28 February 2021

Character-Fault and Blame-Fault

Character-Fault and Blame-Fault

Chapter:
(p.153) 9 Character-Fault and Blame-Fault
Source:
Against Moral Responsibility
Author(s):

Bruce N. Waller

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016599.003.0009

This chapter discusses moral responsibility in relation to the concepts of character-fault and blame-fault. It begins by presenting examples that provide an overview of the concepts and their relation to each other and to moral responsibility in general. It presents as an example psychologist Martin Seligman’s “learned helplessness” experiments, which conditioned dogs give up quickly and make no effort to escape painful shocks. Their resigned acceptance of suffering, however, is a mark of deep helplessness, not freedom. In the case of an abused wife who yearns and struggles for freedom, it is easy to say that keeping herself trapped inside the same abusive pattern is her own fault, but this is a short-sighted view. This is actually the product of a deeply conditioned character flaw—a character-fault—and not a blame-fault.

Keywords:   moral responsibility, character-fault, blame-fault, Martin Seligman, learned helplessness, resigned acceptance, freedom

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.