Participant reactive attitudes and collective responsibility

Philosophical Explorations 6 (3):218 – 234 (2003)
The debate surrounding the issue of collective moral responsibility is often steeped in metaphysical issues of agency and personhood. I suggest that we can approach the metaphysical problems surrounding the issue of collective responsibility in a roundabout manner. My approach is reminiscent of that taken by P.F. Strawson in "Freedom and Resentment" (1968). Strawson argues that the participant reactive attitudes - attitudes like resentment, gratitude, forgiveness and so on - provide the justification for holding individuals morally responsible. I argue that the framework of the reactive attitudes extends to collectives and provides the justification for holding collectives morally responsible.
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