That’s the Word For it: Excuplate

Exculpate is a word that is trending right now. This word traces back to the Latin culpa where the meaning of blame is embedded. Some literary examples of this word…

“Indeed, isn’t the whole business of ascribing responsibility kind of a cop-out? We want to blame an individual so that everyone else is exculpated. Or we blame a historical process as a way of exonerating individuals. Or it’s all anarchic chaos, with the same consequence. It seems to me that there is—was—a chain of individual responsibilities, all of which were necessary, but not so long a chain that everybody can simply blame everyone else. But, of course, my desire to ascribe responsibility might be more a reflection of my own cast of mind than a fair analysis of what happened. That’s one of the central problems of history, isn’t it, sir? The question of subjective versus objective interpretation, the fact that we need to know the history of the historian in order to understand the version that is being put in front of us.”
― Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending


“The notion that evil is non-rational is a more significant claim for Eagleton than at first appears, because he is (in this book [On Evil] as in others of his recent ‘late period’ prolific burst) anxious to rewrite theology: God (whom he elsewhere tells us is nonexistent, but this is no barrier to his being lots of other things for Eagleton too, among them Important) is not to be regarded as rational: with reference to the Book of Job Eagleton says, ‘To ask after God’s reasons for allowing evil, so [some theologians] claim, is to imagine him as some kind of rational or moral being, which is the last thing he is.’ This is priceless: with one bound God is free of responsibility for ‘natural evil’—childhood cancers, tsunamis that kill tens of thousands—and for moral evil also even though ‘he’ is CEO of the company that purposely manufactured its perpetrators; and ‘he’ is incidentally exculpated from blame for the hideous treatment meted out to Job.”
― A.C. Grayling


Leave a Reply