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Blameworthiness and Time

Coleman, J and Sarch, Alexander (2012) Blameworthiness and Time Legal Theory, 18. pp. 101-137.

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Reactive emotion accounts hold that blameworthiness should be analyzed in terms of the familiar reactive emotions. However, despite the attractions of such views, we are not persuaded that blameworthiness is ultimately a matter of correctly felt reactive emotion. In this paper, we draw attention to a range of little-discussed considerations involving the moral significance of the passage of time that drive a wedge between blameworthiness and the reactive emotions: the appropriateness of the reactive emotions is sensitive to the passage of time in ways that attributions of blameworthiness are not. There are a number of ways in which reactive emotion accounts might attempt to accommodate the moral significance of time, however. We consider the most important of these but ultimately find them wanting. Accordingly, we conclude that the prospects for the reactive emotion accounts are bleak. Our argument, if successful, has a range of implications for legal theory, most importantly in providing a novel moral basis for statutes of limitations and in shedding light on new avenues in the theory of criminal law generally.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Law
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Coleman, J
Date : June 2012
DOI : 10.1017/S1352325212000158
Copyright Disclaimer : © Cambridge University Press 2012
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:37
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 15:07

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