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Abstract
This essay argues, through conceptual analysis, against an objection to reproaches addressed to financiers after the Crisis of 2007-8: the idea that they could not have acted otherwise (at least, not rationally) and that no one should be blamed for a fact one could not have avoided. If correct, this would threaten the justifiability of corporate social responsibility and legal responsibility of directors. Identified as the “thesis of inevitability”, this objection is illustrated by an analysis of the film Margin Call (2011) and associated with other investigations on ethics and responsibility. This target-thesis follows from a confusion between different notions of responsibility (for an assignment, for a judgment, and causal and liability responsibility) and leads to an inconsistent form of fatalism. It is suggested, finally, that invoking the “inevitability” can be a way to rationalize the decision, obscuring reasons against it.
Keywords Ethics  Inevitability  Responsibility  Liability  Rationality  Decision Theory
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