Over the last decade, I have been developing an interconnected set of claims and arguments concerning the second-personal character of central moral phenomena. My focus has been the deontic moral notions of obligation, duty, right, wrong, rights, and so on, which I have argued are distinguished by their conceptual connection to accountability and to the Strawsonian reactive attitudes through which we hold one another and ourselves answerable (Strawson, “Freedom and Resentment”). Two central tenets are, first, that it is a conceptual truth that an act is wrong if, and only if, it is an act of a kind that it would blameworthy to perform without excuse. (Since all other deontic notions can be defined in terms of wrongness (and wronging), this means that all deontic ideas are tied to blameworthiness.) Second, blame is a reactive attitude that implicitly addresses a demand to its object, presupposes the authority to do so, and bids for its object to acknowledge this authority and hold himself accountable for his action. It is the implicit element of address that makes reactive attitudes second personal (or, as Strawson says, “interpersonal”). Reactive attitudes are felt from a presupposed perspective of relationship (better, relating) to their objects.
More recently, I have begun to do some work on a group of reactive attitudes that have the same second-personal, reciprocation-seeking structure, but that are unlike accountability-seeking deontic reactive attitudes like blame, resentment, and guilt.