Craig Agule

Wolf Humanities Center Regional Fellow

20202021 Forum on Choice

Craig Agule

Assistant Professors of Philosophy and Religion, Rutgers University-Camden

Craig K. Agule is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy & Religion at Rutgers University–Camden. He studies ethics and the criminal law, with particular interest in questions about blame, forgiveness, and responsibility. Dr. Agule has written on the relevance of an agent’s past to her responsibility and on the relevance of our epistemically imperfect natures to both responsibility and the assessments of responsibility. He is currently working on hypocrisy, on the stability of the assessment of responsibility in cases of forgiveness, and on the culpability of criminal negligence. Throughout much of this work, Dr. Agule examines how blame and forgiveness place certain demands on our attention and interpretation and how those demands affect whether and how we should blame and forgive.

Choosing Blame

Although we should not blame the innocent, and although we have good reason to blame the guilty, blame remains nonetheless importantly a matter of choice. In most cases, both blaming and not blaming are morally permissible, and so whether or not an agent should blame a wrongdoer often has as much to do with that agent’s values and life as with the wrongdoer’s culpability. In this project, I defend and apply that choice model of blame, showing that it helps to bring out the perceptual nature of blame, to solve persistent puzzles about forgiveness and moral responsibility, to determine whom and when we should blame, and to better live up to our own values.