Global obligations and the agency objection

Ratio 23 (2):217-231 (2010)
Abstract
Many authors hold that collectives, as well as individuals can be the subjects of obligations. Typically these authors have focussed on the obligations of highly structured groups, and (less often) of small, informal groups. One might wonder, however, whether there could also be collective obligations which fall on everyone – what I shall call 'global collective obligations'. One reason for thinking that this is not possible has to do with considerations about agency: it seems as though an entity can only be the subject of obligations if it is an agent. In this paper, I try to show that the argument from agency is not a good reason for being sceptical about the existence of global collective obligations: it derives whatever plausibility it has from the idea that claims about obligation need to be addressable to some agent. My suggestion is that we should accept this principle about the addressability of obligations, but deny that the addressee of an obligation need be the subject of that obligation. The collective obligations of unstructured collections of individuals, including global collective obligations, meet the addressability requirement insofar as they require something of the individuals who make up the collective.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,273
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-04-20

Total downloads

26 ( #62,896 of 1,096,253 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #126,669 of 1,096,253 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.