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  1. What We Together Do.Derek Parfit -
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  2. A Critique of David Miller's Like Minded Group and Cooperative Practice Models of Collective Responsibility.Uwe Steinhoff - manuscript
    Many authors writing about global justice seem to take national responsibility more or less for granted. Most of them, however, offer very little argument for their position. One of the few exceptions is David Miller. He offers two models of collective responsibility: the like-minded group model and the cooperative practice model. While some authors have criticized whether these two models are applicable to nations, as Miller intends, my criticism is more radical: I argue that these two models fail as accounts (...)
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  3. Drowning the Shallow Pond Analogy: A Critique of Garrett Cullity's Attempt to Rescue It.Uwe Steinhoff - manuscript
    Garrett Cullity concedes that saving a drowning child from a shallow pond at little cost to oneself is not actually analogous to giving money to a poverty relief organization like Oxfam. The question then arises whether this objection is fatal to Peters Singer's argument for a duty of assistance or whether it can be saved anyway. Cullity argues that not saving the drowning child and not giving money to organizations like Oxfam are still morally analogous, that is, not giving money (...)
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  4. Two Failed Accounts of Citizen Responsibility for State Action: On Stilz and Pasternak.Uwe Steinhoff - manuscript
    Anna Stilz claims that citizens of democratic states bear “task responsibility” to repair unjust harms done by their states. I will argue that the only situation in which Stilz’s argument for such “task responsibility” is not redundant, given her own premises, is a situation where the state leaves it up to the citizens whether to indemnify others for the harms done by the state. I will also show that Stilz’s “authorization view” rests on an unwarranted and implausible assumption (which I (...)
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  5. Responsibility for What? Fairness and Individual Responsibility.A. Cappelen, E. Sørensen & B. Tungodden - manuscript
  6. Do Collective Persons Have Brains? When Methodological Individualism Meets Mechanistic Agency.Benoit Hardy-Vallée - manuscript
  7. Getting Our Act Together: A Theory of Collective Moral Obligations (Routledge) by Schwenkenbecher, Anne. [REVIEW]Maike Albertzart - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
  8. Disclaiming Responsibility, Voicing Disagreements, Negotiating Boundaries.Carla Bagnoli - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 7.
    This essay introduces the novel category of “disclaimers” – distinctive normative acts which challenge third-party attributions of responsibility in a community governed by norms of mutual accountability. While the debate focuses on evasive and wrongful refusals to take responsibility for one’s wrongs, this essay argues that disclaimers are fundamental modes of exercising normative powers, whose main functions are demanding recognition, responding to wrongs, voicing disagreement, exiting alienating conditions, and calling for a fair redistribution of specific responsibilities. In particular, understood as (...)
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  9. One Among Many: Responsibility and Alienation in Mass Action.Carla Bagnoli - forthcoming - In Chiara Valentini Teresa Marquez (ed.), Collective Action, Philosophy and the Law. London: Routledge.
    This chapter argues that some paradigmatic cases of collective action, called mass-action, build upon alienation. Individual alienation qualifies as a coordinative mechanism, which explains collective actions performed by large groups. Alienation requires individuals to detach from their personal stance, and bracket their personal attachments and motivations. Differently from strategic and normative coordinative devices, alienation bypasses strategic normative regulations, such as law and enforcement. However, individuals retain moral responsibility for mass action, which are aligned to delegated actions.
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  10. On Individual and Shared Obligations: In Defense of the Activist’s Perspective.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Mark Budolfson, Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press.
    We naturally attribute obligations to groups, and take such obligations to have consequences for the obligations of group members. The threat posed by anthropogenic climate change provides an urgent case. It seems that we, together, have an obligation to prevent climate catastrophe, and that we, as individuals, have an obligation to contribute. However, understood strictly, attributions of obligations to groups might seem illegitimate. On the one hand, the groups in question—the people alive today, say—are rarely fully-fledged moral agents, making it (...)
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  11. Collective Responsibility and Collective Obligations Without Collective Moral Agents.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Saba Bazargan-Forward & Deborah Tollefsen (eds.), Handbook of Collective Responsibility. Routledge.
    It is commonplace to attribute obligations to φ or blameworthiness for φ-ing to groups even when no member has an obligation to φ or is individually blameworthy for not φ-ing. Such non-distributive attributions can seem problematic in cases where the group is not a moral agent in its own right. In response, it has been argued both that non-agential groups can have the capabilities requisite to have obligations of their own, and that group obligations can be understood in terms of (...)
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  12. Team Reasoning and Collective Moral Obligation.Olle Blomberg & Björn Petersson - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
    We propose a new account of collective moral obligation. We argue that several agents have a moral obligation together only if they each have (i) a context-specific capacity to view their situation from the group’s perspective, and (ii) at least a general capacity to deliberate about what they ought to do together. Such an obligation is irreducibly collective, in that it doesn’t imply that the individuals have any obligations to contribute to what is required of the group. We highlight various (...)
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  13. ÔIllegal Corporate Behavior and the Question of Moral Agency: An Empirical ExaminationÕ.P. L. Cochran & D. Nigh - forthcoming - Empirical Studies of Business Ethics and Values, V.(Jai Press, Greenwich, Ct).
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  14. Responsibility for Collective Epistemic Harms.Will Fleisher & Dunja Šešelja - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-41.
    Discussion of epistemic responsibility typically focuses on belief formation and actions leading to it. Similarly, accounts of collective epistemic responsibility have addressed the issue of collective belief formation and associated actions. However, there has been little discussion of collective responsibility for preventing epistemic harms, particularly those preventable only by the collective action of an unorganized group. We propose an account of collective epistemic responsibility which fills this gap. Building on Hindriks' (2019) account of collective moral responsibility, we introduce the Epistemic (...)
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  15. Social Policy in Singapore: A Crucible of Individual Responsibility.Ron Haskins - forthcoming - Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology.
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  16. Duties and Demandingness, Individual and Collective.Marcus Hedahl & Kyle Fruh - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-23.
    Concern regarding overly demanding duties has been a prominent feature of moral debate ever since the possibility was famously sounded out by Bernard Williams nearly fifty years ago. More recently, some theorists have attempted to resolve the issue by reconsidering its underlying structure, drawing attention to the possibility that the duties to respond to large-scale moral issues like global poverty, systemic racism, and climate change may be fundamentally collective duties rather than indi- vidual ones. On this view, the relationship between (...)
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  17. Group Responsibility.Christian List - forthcoming - In Dana Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Are groups ever capable of bearing responsibility, over and above their individual members? This chapter discusses and defends the view that certain organized collectives – namely, those that qualify as group moral agents – can be held responsible for their actions, and that group responsibility is not reducible to individual responsibility. The view has important implications. It supports the recognition of corporate civil and even criminal liability in our legal systems, and it suggests that, by recognizing group agents as loci (...)
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  18. An Introduction to Collective Intentionality: In Action, Thought, and Society.Kirk Ludwig & Marija Jankovic - forthcoming - New York: Routledge.
    This is an introduction to collective intentionality. It discusses collection action and intention, collective belief, distributed cognition, collective intentionality and language, conventions and status functions, institutions and social ontology, and collective responsibility.
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  19. Responsibility Voids.Martin Hees Matthew Brahavanm - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    We present evidence for the existence of 'responsibility voids' in committee decision-making, that is, the existence of situations where no member of a committee can individually be held morally responsible for the outcome. We analyse three types of reasons (causal, normative and epistemic) for the emergence of responsibility voids, and show that each of them can occur in committees. But the conditions for these voids are so restrictive as to reduce the philosophical or institutional significance they might be thought to (...)
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  20. Can Ethics Be Taught?Hiran Perera-W. A. - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
  21. A Pathology of Group Agency.Matthew Rachar - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
    Pathologies of agency affect both groups and individuals. I present a case study of agential pathology in a group, in which supposedly rogue members of a group act in light of what they take the group’s interests and attitudes to be, but in a way that goes against the group’s explicitly stated agential point of view. I consider several practical concerns brought out by rogue member action in the context of a group agent, focusing in particular on how it undermines (...)
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  22. How We Fail to Know: Group-Based Ignorance and Collective Epistemic Obligations.Anne Schwenkenbecher - forthcoming - Political Studies:online first.
    Humans are prone to producing morally suboptimal and even disastrous outcomes out of ignorance. Ignorance is generally thought to excuse agents from wrongdoing, but little attention has been paid to group-based ignorance as the reason for some of our collective failings. I distinguish between different types of first-order and higher order group-based ignorance and examine how these can variously lead to problematic inaction. I will make two suggestions regarding our epistemic obligations vis-a-vis collective (in)action problems: (1) that our epistemic obligations (...)
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  23. Group Action Without Group Minds.Kenneth Silver - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Groups behave in a variety of ways. To show that this behavior amounts to action, it would be best to fit it into a general account of action. However, nearly every account from the philosophy of action requires the agent to have mental states such as beliefs, desires, and intentions. Unfortunately, theorists are divided over whether groups can instantiate these states—typically depending on whether or not they are willing to accept functionalism about the mind. But we can avoid this debate. (...)
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  24. The Time May Be Right: Corporate Moral Responsibility and Saving Lives.Conceição Soares - forthcoming - Levinas, Business Ethics.
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  25. Justifying Subsistence Emissions: An Appeal to Causal Impotence.Chad Vance - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
    With respect to climate change, what is wanted is an account that morally condemns the production of ‘luxury’ greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., joyriding in an SUV), but not ‘subsistence’ emissions (e.g., cooking meals). Now, our individual greenhouse gas emissions either cause harm, or they do not—and those who condemn the production of luxury emissions generally stake their position on the grounds that they do cause harm. Meanwhile, those seeking to defend the moral permissibility of luxury emissions generally do so by (...)
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  26. Collective Reasons and Agent-Relativity.Alexander Dietz - 2022 - Utilitas 34 (1):57-69.
    Could it be true that even though we as a group ought to do something, you as an individual ought not to do your part? And under what conditions, in particular, could this happen? In this article, I discuss how a certain kind of case, introduced by David Copp, illustrates the possibility that you ought not to do your part even when you would be playing a crucial causal role in the group action. This is because you may have special (...)
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  27. The problem of insignificant hands.Frank Hindriks - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):1-26.
    Many morally significant outcomes can be brought about only if several individuals contribute to them. However, individual contributions to collective outcomes often fail to have morally significant effects on their own. Some have concluded from this that it is permissible to do nothing. What I call ‘the problem of insignificant hands’ is the challenge of determining whether and when people are obligated to contribute. For this to be the case, I argue, the prospect of helping to bring about the outcome (...)
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  28. Being implicated: on the fittingness of guilt and indignation over outcomes.Gunnar Björnsson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):1–18.
    When is it fitting for an agent to feel guilt over an outcome, and for others to be morally indignant with her over it? A popular answer requires that the outcome happened because of the agent, or that the agent was a cause of the outcome. This paper reviews some of what makes this causal-explanatory view attractive before turning to two kinds of problem cases: cases of collective harms and cases of fungible switching. These, it is argued, motivate a related (...)
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  29. Review of Holly Lawford-Smith's Not In Their Name: Are Citizens Culpable For Their States’ Actions?[REVIEW]Olle Blomberg - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (5):554-557.
  30. Review of Anne Schwenkenbecher's Getting Our Act Together: A Theory of Collective Moral Obligations[REVIEW]Olle Blomberg - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (3):875-877.
  31. The Shared Know-How in Linguistic Bodies.Eros Moreira de Carvalho - 2021 - Filosofia Unisinos 22 (1):94-101.
    The authors of *Linguistic Bodies* appeal to shared know-how to explain the social and participatory interactions upon which linguistic skills and agency rest. However, some issues lurk around the notion of shared know-how and require attention and clarification. In particular, one issue concerns the agent behind the shared know-how, a second one concerns whether shared know-how can be reducible to individual know-how or not. In this paper, I sustain that there is no single answer to the first issue; depending on (...)
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  32. Interconnected Blameworthiness.Stephanie Collins & Niels de Haan - 2021 - The Monist 104 (2):195-209.
    This paper investigates agents’ blameworthiness when they are part of a group that does harm. We analyse three factors that affect the scope of an agent’s blameworthiness in these cases: shared intentionality, interpersonal influence, and common knowledge. Each factor involves circumstantial luck. The more each factor is present, the greater is the scope of each agent’s vicarious blameworthiness for the other agents’ contributions to the harm. We then consider an agent’s degree of blameworthiness, as distinct from her scope of blameworthiness. (...)
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  33. The Covid-19 Pandemic and Climate Change: Some Lessons Learned on Individual Ethics and Social Justice.Fausto Corvino - 2021 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 77 (2-3):691-714.
    The Covid-19 pandemic has confronted humanity with a complex and unexpected challenge. One part of this challenge concerned individual ethics, i.e., the behaviour of individuals with respect to the rules and restrictions that have been imposed by health authorities in the collective interest. Another part concerned, instead, the social organisation of immunisation campaigns. In this article I wonder whether the lessons we have learned in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic can be applied to climate change mitigation. My first argument (...)
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  34. Discharging the Moral Responsibility for Collective Unjust Enrichment in the Global Economy.Fausto Corvino & Alberto Pirni - 2021 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 36 (1):139-158.
    In this article we wonder how a person can discharge the political responsibility for supporting and benefiting from unjust social structures. Firstly, we introduce the concept of structural injustice and defend it against three possible objections: ‘explanatory nationalism’, a diachronic interpretation of the benefits of industry-led growth, being part of a social structure does not automatically mean being responsible for its negative consequences. Then, we hold that both Iris Marion Young’s ‘social connection model’ and Robin Zheng’s ‘role-ideal model’ provide clear (...)
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  35. Collective Culpable Ignorance.Niels de Haan - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):99-108.
    I argue that culpable ignorance can be irreducibly collective. In some cases, it is not fair to expect any individual to have avoided her ignorance of some fact, but it is fair to expect the agents together to have avoided their ignorance of that fact. Hence, no agent is individually culpable for her ignorance, but they are culpable for their ignorance together. This provides us with good reason to think that any group that is culpably ignorant in this irreducibly collective (...)
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  36. On the Relation Between Collective Responsibility and Collective Duties.Niels de Haan - 2021 - Philosophy 91 (1):99-133.
    There is good reason to think that moral responsibility as accountability is tied to the violation of moral demands. This lends intuitive support to Type-Symmetry in the collective realm: A type of responsibility entails the violation or unfulfillment of the same type of all-things-considered duty. For example, collective responsibility necessarily entails the violation of a collective duty. But Type-Symmetry is false. In this paper I argue that a non-agential group can be collectively responsible without thereby violating a collective duty. To (...)
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  37. Reparations, Responsibility, and Formalism : A Reply to Carnes.Raff Donelson - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (2):643-649.
    In a recent paper, Thomas Carnes develops a novel argument for reparations for historical injustices. This Reply shows that Carnes succeeds only at the cost of invoking an implausible formalism. The Reply also presents in brief a simpler argument for reparations.
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  38. In Defense of National Climate Change Responsibility: A Reply to the Fairness Objection.Blake Francis - 2021 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 49 (2):115-155.
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  39. Responsibility and the ‘Pie Fallacy’.Alex Kaiserman - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3597-3616.
    Much of our ordinary thought and talk about responsibility exhibits what I call the ‘pie fallacy’—the fallacy of thinking that there is a fixed amount of responsibility for every outcome, to be distributed among all those, if any, who are responsible for it. The pie fallacy is a fallacy, I argue, because how responsible an agent is for some outcome is fully grounded in facts about the agent, the outcome and the relationships between them; it does not depend, in particular, (...)
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  40. Responsibility in Cases of Structural and Personal Complicity: A Phenomenological Analysis.Charlotte Knowles - 2021 - The Monist 104 (2):224-237.
    In cases of complicity in one’s own unfreedom and in structural injustice, it initially appears that agents are only vicariously responsible for their complicity because of the roles circumstantial and constitutive luck play in bringing about their complicity. By drawing on work from the phenomenological tradition, this paper rejects this conclusion and argues for a new responsive sense of agency and responsibility in cases of complicity. Highlighting the explanatory role of stubbornness in cases of complicity, it is argued that although (...)
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  41. Group Agency and Artificial Intelligence.Christian List - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology (4):1-30.
    The aim of this exploratory paper is to review an under-appreciated parallel between group agency and artificial intelligence. As both phenomena involve non-human goal-directed agents that can make a difference to the social world, they raise some similar moral and regulatory challenges, which require us to rethink some of our anthropocentric moral assumptions. Are humans always responsible for those entities’ actions, or could the entities bear responsibility themselves? Could the entities engage in normative reasoning? Could they even have rights and (...)
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  42. Shared Epistemic Responsibility.Boyd Millar - 2021 - Episteme 18 (4):493-506.
    It is widely acknowledged that individual moral obligations and responsibility entail shared moral obligations and responsibility. However, whether individual epistemic obligations and responsibility entail shared epistemic obligations and responsibility is rarely discussed. Instead, most discussions of doxastic responsibility focus on individuals considered in isolation. In contrast to this standard approach, I maintain that focusing exclusively on individuals in isolation leads to a profoundly incomplete picture of what we're epistemically obligated to do and when we deserve epistemic blame. First, I argue (...)
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  43. Why Should We Try to Be Sustainable? Expected Consequences and the Ethics of Making an Indeterminate Difference.Howard Nye - 2021 - In Chelsea Miya, Oliver Rossier & Geoffrey Rockwell (eds.), Right Research: Modelling Sustainable Research Practices in the Anthropocene. Open Book Publishers. pp. 3-35.
    Why should we refrain from doing things that, taken collectively, are environmentally destructive, if our individual acts seem almost certain to make no difference? According to the expected consequences approach, we should refrain from doing these things because our individual acts have small risks of causing great harm, which outweigh the expected benefits of performing them. Several authors have argued convincingly that this provides a plausible account of our moral reasons to do things like vote for policies that will reduce (...)
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  44. The Ethics of Microaggression.Regina Rini - 2021 - Abingdon UK: Routledge.
    Slips of the tongue, unwitting favoritism and stereotyped assumptions are just some examples of microaggression. Nearly all of us commit microaggressions at some point, even if we don’t intend to. Yet over time a pattern of microaggression can cause considerable harm by reminding members of marginalized groups of their precarious position. The Ethics of Microaggression is a much needed and clearly written exploration of this pervasive yet complex problem. What is microaggression and how do we know when it is occurring? (...)
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  45. Structural Injustice and Massively Shared Obligations.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2021 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 38 (1):1-16.
    It is often argued that our obligations to address structural injustice are collective in character. But what exactly does it mean for ‘ordinary citizens’ to have collective obligations visà- vis large-scale injustice? In this paper, I propose to pay closer attention to the different kinds of collective action needed in addressing some of these structural injustices and the extent to which these are available to large, unorganised groups of people. I argue that large, dispersed and unorganised groups of people are (...)
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  46. Getting Our Act Together: A Theory of Collective Moral Obligations.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2021 - New York; London: Routledge.
    Together we can often achieve things that are impossible to do on our own. We can prevent something bad from happening or we can produce something good, even if none of us could do it by herself. But when are we morally required to do something of moral importance together with others? This book develops an original theory of collective moral obligations. These are obligations that individual moral agents hold jointly, but not as unified collective agents. To think of some (...)
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  47. Kollektive Verantwortung und Armut.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2021 - In Gottfried Schweiger & Clemens Sedmak (eds.), Handbuch Philosophie Und Armut. J.B. Metzler. pp. 326-332.
    Die Frage nach der Verantwortung für globale Armut laesst sich auf mindestens zwei Weisen stellen – als Frage nach der (retrospektiven) Verantwortung für das Auftreten dieses Problems oder als Frage nach der (prospektiven) Verantwortung für dessen Behebung. Dieses Kapitel wird sich vor allem auf die zweite Frage konzentrieren: Inwiefern sollte die Verantwortung, Armut zu bekaempfen, als kollektive Verantwortung verstanden werden? Für viele von uns werden diese Pflichten nur im weiten (schwachen) Sinne kollektiv sein, naemlich in dem Sinne, dass die kollektive (...)
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  48. Moral Luck in Team‐Based Health Care.Daniel Story & Catelynn Kenner - 2021 - Nursing Philosophy 22 (1).
    Clinicians regularly work as teams and perform joint actions that have a great deal of moral significance. As a result, clinicians regularly share moral responsibility for the actions of their teams and other clinicians. In this paper, we argue that clinicians are exceptionally susceptible to a special type of moral luck, called interpersonal moral luck, because their moral statuses are often affected by the actions of other clinicians in a way that is not fully within their control. We then argue (...)
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  49. Group Duties Without Decision-Making Procedures.Gunnar Björnsson - 2020 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (1):127-139.
    Stephanie Collins’ Group Duties offers interesting new arguments and brings together numerous interconnected issues that have hitherto been treated separately. My critical commentary focuses on two particularly original and central claims of the book: (1) Only groups that are united under a group-level decision-making procedure can bear duties. (2) Attributions of duties to other groups should be understood as attributions of “coordination duties” to each member of the group, duties to take steps responsive to the others with a view to (...)
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  50. What We Ought to Do: The Decisions and Duties of Non-Agential Groups.Olle Blomberg - 2020 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (1):101-116.
    In ordinary discourse, a single duty is often attributed to a plurality of agents. In "Group Duties: Their Existence and Their Implications for Individuals", Stephanie Collins claims that such attributions involve a “category error”. I critically discuss Collins’ argument for this claim and argue that there is a substantive sense in which non-agential groups can have moral duties. A plurality of agents can have a single duty to bring about an outcome by virtue of a capacity of each to practically (...)
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