A New Ameliorative Approach to Moral Responsibility

Di Michelle Ciurria

In: Feminist Metaphilosophy L , No. 2 ( 2021 )

Sezione Saggi / Articles


Sally Haslanger identifies three standard philosophical approaches – conceptual, descriptive, and ameliorative – and defends an ameliorative analysis of race and gender as the most effective at addressing social injustice. In this paper, I assign three influential theories of moral responsibility to these categories, and I defend the ameliorative approach as the most justice-conducive. But I argue that existing ameliorative accounts of responsibility are not ameliorative enough – they do not adequately address social injustice. I propose a new ameliorative model that defines ordinary responsibility as part of a political apparatus of power that polices and enforces oppressive norms. And I argue that we should create new, counterhegemonic discourses about responsibility through collective political resistance.