Research seminar: Taking responsibility for the good - On moral pride as a reactive attitude

As part of IDEA's 2020-21 research seminar series, we welcome Dr Monique Wonderly, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, UC San Diego.


“In “Freedom and Resentment,” P.F. Strawson introduced the “reactive attitudes” as attitudes to which we are prone in virtue of inhabiting the participant stance toward morally responsible agents. Theorists have since represented a subset of those attitudes as modes of holding agents responsible. To resent another – or again to feel moral indignation toward her –for her moral infraction is to, in some sense, hold her responsible for the relevant act. To feel guilt, on the other hand, is to hold oneself responsible for some moral infraction. Importantly, on many accounts, we can also “hold persons responsible” for positive pieces of morally significant conduct.”

“Gratitude is often thought to be the positive analog of resentment. Theorists have variously referred to the positive analog of guilt as moral self-congratulations, moral self-approbation, and (a kind of) moral pride. Whatever we decide to label it, there is a distinctive attitude by which we hold ourselves responsible, or perhaps better, take responsibility for a positive piece of morally significant conduct.  Discussion of this attitude in the moral responsibility literature is relatively rare, and some express skepticism about the role and import of this attitude within our practices of regarding and treating agents as morally accountable. The aim of this paper is to situate this attitude within the moral responsibility landscape and to offer a framework for how to understand its value. “

Find out more about Dr Monique Wonderly (Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, UC San Diego).

Joining the seminar

Join the event via Microsoft Teams.

Please see our 2020-21 schedule for more upcoming research seminars.

This research seminar series of webinars is curated by Dr Andrew Kirton.