Is Agent-Regret Rational?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bernard Williams claims that we should feel “agent-regret” for bad events we cause but for which we are not blameworthy. Such agent-regret involves no presupposition of fault, yet it also involves a need to personally make amends. This combination suggests that agent-regret, even if virtuous, is inherently irrational. In this paper, I defend agent-regret from attempts to explain it away as a confusion of other attitudes. I argue that the rationality of agent-regret is found in how it makes sense as a response to conflicts that might arise between people through nothing more than bad luck.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-808
Number of pages21
JournalEthics
Volume128
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Keywords

  • WILLIAMS, Bernard, 1929-2003
  • PRACTICAL reason
  • ATTITUDE (Psychology)
  • PHILOSOPHERS
  • PERCEPTION
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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