Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (3):627-642 (2017)

Authors
Anthony Reeves
State University of New York at Binghamton
Abstract
How does morality allocate responsibility for what it requires? I am concerned here with one fundamental part of this question, namely, how morality determines responsibility when multiple agents are capable of contributing to or completing a moral task, and special relationships capable of generating duties with respect to the task are non-existent, insufficient as a moral response, or partly indeterminate. On one view, responsibility falls to the agents who can bear it with the least burden. I show why this is initially attractive and mistaken. Instead, I defend an equity-based approach that accommodates the intuitions that both support and trouble the least-cost principle. One upshot is that sometimes we ought prefer a distribution of responsibility that is more expensive and less local than needed to complete the task. I illustrate the practical significance of the argument in terms of the human rights of refugees.
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-017-9808-z
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Responsibility for Justice.Iris Marion Young - 2011 - Oxford University Press USA.
Political Theory and International Relations.Charles R. Beitz - 1979 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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