Higher Sem in Practical Philosophy: Alexander Velichkov "The Internal Court of Guilt and Regret: Lorry Drivers, Gauguins, and Rational Plans of Life"
Alexander Velichkov will give a self-contained talk at the higher seminar in practical philosopy. Here is his title and abstract:
The Internal Court of Guilt and Regret: Lorry Drivers, Gauguins, and Rational Plans of Life
Abstract: A guiding assumption in the contemporary responsibility literature is that the self-directed emotions of guilt and regret only target what is within an agent’s control. I defend an interpretation of Williams’s seminal “Moral Luck” against recent alternative interpretations and develop his insights in order to criticize this idea. Guilt is not only a deserved painful response following wrongdoing, but also motivates reflection and negotiation in morally ambiguous circumstances, which makes it appropriate before any wrongdoing has even been established. Furthermore, guilt is a noninstrumentally valuable acknowledgment of an agent’s moral fault even when that moral fault was outside of her control. However, I suggest that there is room for ambivalence: sometimes the guilt and regret that a person feels from realizing that she has done something wrong are tempered by the thought that she couldn’t have done better at the time with what was in her control.