We blame faulty brakes for a car crash, or rain for our bad mood. I argue that such “merely causal” blame is crucial for understanding interpersonal blame. The two are often difficult to distinguish, in a way that plagues philosophical discussions of blame. And interpersonal blame is distinctive, partly in its causal focus: its attention to a person as cause. Causal focus helps explain several central characteristics of interpersonal blame: its tendency to exaggerate a person’s causal role, its weakening through attention to personal history or thoughts about determinism, its characteristic “force” or “sting,” and our sense that blame is often harmful or unfair.

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