Aspiration, execution, and controversy: Reply to my critics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


I respond to Michael Zimmerman and Gideon Yaffe, both of whom have written thoughtful and constructive criticisms of my ‘‘Ignorance of Law’’. Zimmerman believes I do not go far enough in exculpating morally ignorant wrongdoers; he accuses me of lacking the courage of my convictions in allowing exceptions for reckless wrongdoers (who I allege to have a lesser degree of blameworthiness than those who are knowledgeable) and for willfully ignorant wrongdoers (who I allege to be as blameworthy as those who are knowledgeable). Yaffe, by contrast, thinks I rely on a defective foundation of moral blameworthiness. He proposes an alternative account he alleges to conform more closely to common sense. In responding to both critics, I emphasize that our points of agreement may be more significant than our disagreements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-362
Number of pages12
JournalCriminal Law and Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Law


  • Desert
  • Exculpation
  • Ignorance of law
  • Overcriminalization
  • Reason responsiveness
  • Recklessness
  • Wilful ignorance

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