Christina Nick
University of Leeds
Can we hold citizens causally responsible for the outcomes of their voting decisions? They could stand in the causal relationship required for such responsibility either collectively or individually. Recent accounts ascribing responsibility to citizens have primarily taken the collective route because of a major obstacle to using an individualistic approach, namely, the problem of overdetermination: the actions of each citizen do not make an individual difference to, and therefore cannot be a cause of, the overall political outcome. I suggest, drawing on Parfit (1984) and Wright (1985), that we should allow for the idea that individuals can be causally responsible in virtue of making a difference to an outcome not only as an individual, but also as part of a set of agents. I conclude that we therefore can overcome the problem of overdetermination for the individualistic approach and that it merits further investigation.
Keywords Causal Responsibility  NESS Test  Individual Difference Principle  Overdetermination  Voting
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DOI 10.1093/arisoc/aoaa020
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Causes and Conditions.J. L. Mackie - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (4):245 - 264.
Collective Responsibility and the State.Anna Stilz - 2011 - Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (2):190-208.

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