Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):21 – 41 (2001)
AbstractThe claim is that some collective entities can be thought of as part of the moral realm by virtue of their status as objects of moral concern. Collectivities are defined in terms of irreducibly corporate action and distinctive conditions of persisting identity. Their lack of sentience does not preclude moral concern, and their raison d'être may render moral concern for them appropriate. Recent attempts by Pettit, McMahon, and Broome to limit the moral realm to individuals are considered. They are rebutted on the grounds that they rest heavily on pre-existing moral intuitions; they ascribe a stronger thesis than is necessary to the sponsors of the moral significance of non-individuals; and they wrongly assume that what has value for individuals must have value because it has value for individuals. Collectivities can have moral importance even if they lack the intrinsic moral importance attaching to human beings, and substantial consequences follow from that fact. In particular, routine appeals to the distinctness of persons become more problematic when collectivities, themselves composed entirely of persons, have independent moral significance which needs to be taken into account. That will affect both assessment of moral consequences and the process of moral decision-making.
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References found in this work
The Wisdom of the Egoist: The Moral and Political Implications of Valuing the Self.Jean Hampton - 1997 - Social Philosophy and Policy 14 (1):21.
Citations of this work
Collective Agency and the Concept of ‘Public’ in Public Involvement: A Practice-Oriented Analysis.Tobias Hainz, Sabine Bossert & Daniel Strech - 2016 - BMC Medical Ethics 17 (1):1-14.
Imposing and Embracing Collective Responsibility: Why the Moral Difference?Keith Graham - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):256–268.
Responsibility Regardless of Causation.Federico Faroldi - 2014 - In Bacchini, Dell'Utri & Caputo (eds.), New Advances in Causation, Agency, and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge Scholars Press.
Metaphysics of Group Moral Responsibility.Bhaskarjit Neog - 2020 - Journal of Human Values 26 (3):238-247.
Collective Rights and Democratic States: A New Framework for Addressing Global Socio-Economic Inequality.Aleksandar Radaković - 2019 - South African Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):297-312.
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