David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (1):35-42 (1982)
In this essay, I shall assume that at least some groups are moral agents, a view successfully argued for by Peter French (1972, 1979, 1981). To that view I add only the following two refinements: (a) The reality of group or organizational agents depends on the existence of rules that constitute them. Because a moral agent acts in a community of moral agents, it is important that the rules that give a group agent its identity be accepted not only by persons in the group but also by the persons and groups with which that group can reasonably be expected to interact. (b) The rule structure of groups provides a basis for claims about the (in)-voluntariness of group action. This is especially important in moral contexts. My primary concern in the essay will be to lay a conceptual foundation for certain normative questions about group moral agency. The questions with which I shall be concerned have to do most directly with the structure of the organization itself and only indirectly with its interactions with others. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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