Tuesday 18 February

Associate Professor Christopher Cowley
Topic: The Ethics of Clumsiness and Ignorance

The below is the audio of the lecture:

Below is a short interview with Prof Cowley on the topic of the lecture:


If somebody harms me deliberately, I blame them. Now for blame to 'work', I have to assume that they understood enough of what they were doing, and that they were free enough to refrain from doing it. In other words, I assume they chose to harm me. But what if they are ignorant and therefore did not understand what they were doing? Sometimes I blame them, sometimes I might excuse them for their ignorance. How does that work? And what if they are clumsy, or insensitive, or unimaginative, or just plain stupid? How much can I blame them for such cognitive defects? This lecture will look at these kinds of fault, both in morality and in the criminal law. 


Christopher Cowley teaches the philosophy of law and the philosophy of autobiography at the UCD School of Philosophy.