Philosophical Studies

, Volume 132, Issue 1, pp 43–57 | Cite as

Emotional expressions of moral value

  • Julie Tannenbaum
Original Paper


In “Moral Luck” Bernard Williams describes a lorry driver who, through no fault of his own, runs over a child, and feels “agent-regret.” I believe that the driver’s feeling is moral since the thought associated with this feeling is a negative moral evaluation of his action. I demonstrate that his action is not morally inadequate with respect his moral obligations. However, I show that his negative evaluation is nevertheless justified since he acted in way that does not live up to his moral values. I then use this distinctive negative moral evaluation to distinguish agent-regret from guilt and mere regret.


Agent-regret Guilt Moral value Moral obligation Moral luck Kant Aristotle Bernard Williams 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical BioethicsNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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