Individual Complicity in Collective Wrongdoing

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):227-243 (2013)

Abstract
Some instances of right and wrongdoing appear to be of a distinctly collective kind. When, for example, one group commits genocide against another, the genocide is collective in the sense that the wrongness of genocide seems morally distinct from the aggregation of individual murders that make up the genocide. The problem, which I refer to as the problem of collective wrongs, is that it is unclear how to assign blame for distinctly collective wrongdoing to individual contributors when none of those individual contributors is guilty of the wrongdoing in question. I offer Christopher Kutz’s Complicity Principle as an attractive starting point for solving the problem, and then argue that the principle ought to be expanded to include a broader and more appropriate range of cases. The view I ultimately defend is that individuals are blameworthy for collective harms insofar as they knowingly participate in those harms, and that said individuals remain blameworthy regardless of whether they succeed in making a causal contribution to those harms
Keywords Collective  Action  Responsibility  Individual  Complicity  Kutz
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9332-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,645
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Shared Intention.Michael Bratman - 1993 - Ethics 104 (1):97-113.
Social Action: A Teleological Account.Seumas Miller - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Acting Together.Christopher Kutz - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):1-31.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Causing Global Warming.Mattias Gunnemyr - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-26.
Moral Responsibility for Distant Collective Harms.David Zoller - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):995-1010.
Complicity and the Responsibility Dilemma.Morten Højer Jensen - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-19.
Agency as Difference-Making: Causal Foundations of Moral Responsibility.Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Collective Responsibility and Professional Roles.Paul B. Thompson - 1986 - Journal of Business Ethics 5 (2):151 - 154.
Market Complicity and Christian Ethics.Albino Barrera - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
Collectives' Duties and Collectivisation Duties.Stephanie Collins - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):231-248.
Contribution to Collective Harms and Responsibility.Robert Jubb - 2012 - Ethical Perspectives 19 (4):733-764.
Individual Responsibility for Climate Change.Melany Banks - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):42-66.
Acting Together.Christopher Kutz - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):1-31.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-12-30

Total views
281 ( #18,431 of 2,325,851 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
16 ( #45,339 of 2,325,851 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature