When a group does harm, sometimes there’s no obvious individual who bears moral responsibility, and yet we still intuit that someone is to blame. This apparent ‘deficit’ of moral responsibility has led some scholars to posit that groups themselves can be responsible, and that this responsibility is distributed in some uniform fashion among group members. This solution to the deficit, however, risks providing a scapegoat for individuals who have acted wrongly and shifting blame onto those who have not. Instead, this article argues that, in most deficit cases, moral responsibility is borne not by the group but by specific individual members. When an individual acts within a group, she gains an increased potential for doing harm – and, accordingly, heightened duties of care toward others. These duties can, depending on the individual’s position, require amending the group’s rules, procedures, and norms. In most deficit cases, it is individuals who have failed to fulfill these duties who are responsible.
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DOI 10.1177/1470594x20982052
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What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

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