The Transfer of Duties: From Individuals to States and Back Again

In Michael Brady & Miranda Fricker (eds.), The Epistemic Life of Groups. Oxford University Press. pp. 150-172 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Individuals sometimes pass their duties on to collectives, which is one way in which collectives can come to have duties. The collective discharges its duties by acting through its members, which involves distributing duties back out to individuals. Individuals put duties in and get (transformed) duties out. In this paper we consider whether (and if so, to what extent) this general account can make sense of states' duties. Do some of the duties we typically take states to have come from individuals having passed on certain individual duties? There are complications: states can discharge their duties by contracting fulfilment out to non-members; states seem able to dissolve the duties of non-members; and some of states' duties are not derived in this way. We demonstrate that these complicate, but do not undermine, the general account and its application to states. And the application has an interesting upshot: by asking which individuals robustly participate in this process of duty transfer-and-transformation with a given state, we can begin to get a grip on who counts as a member of that state.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

841 (#13,303)

6 months
84 (#28,637)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Stephanie Collins
Monash University
Holly Lawford-Smith
University of Melbourne

Citations of this work

What 'we'?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2):225-250.
Injustice and Collectivization in World Politics.Elizabeth Kahn - 2019 - Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 11 (2):29-50.

Add more citations