The Journal of Ethics 1 (1):65-84 (1997)

Margaret Gilbert
University of California, Irvine
Can it ever be appropriate to feel guilt just because one's group has acted badly? Some say no, citing supposed features of guilt feelings as such. If one understands group action according to my plural subject account of groups, however, one can argue for the appropriateness of feeling guilt just because one's group has acted badly - a feeling that often occurs. In so arguing I sketch a plural subject account of groups, group intentions and group actions: for a group to intend (in the relevant sense) is for its members to be jointly committed to intend that such-and-such as a body. Individual group members need not be directly involved in the formation of the intention in order to participate in such a joint commitment. The core concept of joint commitment is in an important way holistic, not being reducible to a set of personal commitments over which each party holds sway.
Keywords collective action  collective responsibility  groups  group action  group intention  group membership
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009712003678
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Collective Responsibility.Marion Smiley - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Collective Responsibility and an Agent Meaning Theory.Michael McKenna - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):16–34.
The Rationality of Collective Guilt.Deborah Tollefsen - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):222–239.
Pro Patria: An Essay on Patriotism.Margaret Gilbert - 2009 - The Journal of Ethics 13 (4):319-346.

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