Moral responsibility for natural disasters

Human Affairs 26 (1):73-79 (2016)


My aim in this paper is to explore the idea of human moral responsibility for of natural disasters. First, I discuss the claim that there is often a human causal contribution to negative outcomes of even such paradigmatic natural disasters as earthquakes, typhoons, and volcano eruptions. Second, I attempt to move away from discussions attributing human causal responsibility to discussions attributing human moral responsibility for such outcomes. I suggest that in most cases of moral responsibility for the outcomes of natural disasters moral responsibility is grounded in culpable negligence, including culpable failure to prevent the side-effects of our actions or omissions.

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Vilius Dranseika
Jagiellonian University

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