David Shoemaker

In introducing the reactive attitudes “of people directly involved in transactions with each other,” P.F. Strawson lists “gratitude, resentment, forgiveness, love, and hurt feelings." Because he decided to illustrate his larger points about responsibility by focusing on resentment (via an investigation into its standard excusing and exempting conditions), nearly everyone writing about responsibility in Strawson’s wake has done so as well. But what of the remaining reactive attitudes? While many have written about gratitude, forgiveness, and love, hurt feelings is a lonely outlier, with nary a single philosophical paper on it. This puzzling elision is made more puzzling by the fact that, as I intend to argue, considering it carefully has very significant implications for our theorizing about responsibility. Indeed, it may well reveal a stark methodological divide in the field. I will begin by developing a psychologically-informed understanding of the nature of hurt feelings, and then I will explore their excusing and exempting conditions, a la Strawson. To account for them in a theory of responsibility will, as we shall see, require a dramatically different approach than any that have thus far been offered.

Friday, October 19, 2018
Hurt Feelings
The Gibson Room, Cocke Hall
4:00 PM
Institutional Affiliation: 
Tulane University
Semester Offered: