On Minding Your Own Business: Differentiating Accountability Relations within the Moral Community

Social Theory and Practice 37 (4):574-598 (2011)
When is one person entitled to sanction another for moral wrongdoing? When, instead, must one mind one’s own business? Stephen Darwall argues that the legitimacy of social sanctioning is essential to the very concept of moral obligation. But, I will argue, Darwall’s “second person” theory of accountability unfortunately implies that every person is entitled to sanction every wrongdoer for every misdeed. In this essay, I defend a set of principles for differentiating those who have the standing to sanction from those who do not.
Keywords responsibility  second person  Darwall, Stephen  social sanction  informal sanction  social punishment
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DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract201137434
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