The Table of Contents of the October 2007 edition of Philosophical Investigations is here. Here are the abstracts of the two featured articles.

Guilt, Remorse and Victims

Christopher Cordner, University of Melbourne

In Shame and Necessity, Bernard Williams describes the experience of guilt in terms of fear at the anger of an internalised other, who is a “victim or enforcer.” Williams says it is a merit of his account that it shows how our guilt turns us towards the victims of our wrongdoing. I argue that his account in fact misses the most important form of guilt’s “concern with victims” – the experience of remorse. I consider, and reject, one way of trying to supplement this lack in Williams’s account of guilt. Finally, I sketch some features of remorse that suggest that remorse belongs to a very different moral picture from the one painted by Williams.

Moral Particularism Reconfigured

Andrew Gleeson, University of Adelaide

In one version, moral particularism says that morality has no need of principles. Jonathan Dancy has argued for this in his recently published Ethics Without Principles. For Dancy, the central issue is whether it is necessary for moral reasons to be codified in principles. He thinks not. This misses the point. Whether or not it needs to be or can be codified, moral agents should not follow rules, on pain of a bad-faith rule-fetishism. The authority of particular cases does not reside in any alleged failure of codifiability. It rests on the fact that moral agents cannot palm off responsibility for their actions on to experts or rules and that they must respond freshly to each case with an appropriate moral reaction: indignation, pity, remorse, etc. Ironically, this reconfiguration of the particularism issue follows from the proper appreciation of a passage from George Eliot, which Dancy cites as his own inspiration.

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