Culpable More than you Think
Katherine K. Johnson

In this paper, I take as my starting point Aristotle’s accounts of culpable and non-culpable ignorance in the Nicomachean Ethics in order to address the following question. If non-moral factual knowledge is indeed so important to moral action—as Aristotle suggests—then why does non-moral factual ignorance seem to excuse so frequently? My intention is not to offer an in-depth analysis of Aristotle but rather to use his account as a base from which to examine in contemporary terms, the question of whether, when approached from an epistemological perspective, the notion of non-culpable ignorance can sometimes mistakenly involve ignorance for which one is in fact culpable. The conclusion I reach is that an analysis of ignorance that takes account of epistemological factors provides both a landscape of some of its various causes as well as an outline of the limits of its power to provide excusing force.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijpt.v3n1a2