David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):49-67 (2012)
In some situations in which undesirable collective effects occur, it is very hard, if not impossible, to hold any individual reasonably responsible. Such a situation may be referred to as the problem of many hands. In this paper we investigate how the problem of many hands can best be understood and why, and when, it exactly constitutes a problem. After analyzing climate change as an example, we propose to define the problem of many hands as the occurrence of a gap in the distribution of responsibility that may be considered morally problematic. Whether a gap is morally problematic, we suggest, depends on the reasons why responsibility is distributed. This, in turn, depends, at least in part, on the sense of responsibility employed, a main distinction being that between backward-looking and forward-looking responsibility
|Keywords||info:mesh/Behavior info:mesh/Moral Obligations info:mesh/Humans info:mesh/Global Warming Humans Behavior Moral Obligations Global Warming|
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References found in this work BETA
Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (1981). Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers, 1973-1980. Cambridge University Press.
R. Jay Wallace (1996). Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments. Harvard University Press.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1969). Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. Journal of Philosophy 66 (3):829-39.
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Citations of this work BETA
Neelke Doorn & Ibo van de Poel (2012). Editors' Overview: Moral Responsibility in Technology and Engineering. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):1-11.
Ewan Kingston (2014). Climate Change as a Three-Part Ethical Problem: A Response to Jamieson and Gardiner. Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (4):1129-1148.
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