Puzzling about State Excuses as an Instance of Group Excuses

In R. A. Duff, L. Farmer, S. Marshall & V. Tadros (eds.), The Constitution of Criminal Law. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
Abstract
Can the state, as opposed to its individual human members in their personal capacity, intelligibly seek to avoid blame for unjustified wrongdoing by invoking excuses (as opposed to justifications)? Insofar as it can, should such claims ever be given moral and legal recognition? While a number of theorists have denied it in passing, the question remains radically underexplored. In this article (in its penultimate draft version), I seek to identify the main metaphysical and moral objections to state excuses, and begin to investigate their strength. I work from the ecumenical assumption that general understandings of modern states as group moral agents proper or as mere fictional points of imputation for individual behaviour are both plausible, and that the question of state excuses should be asked in terms of both paradigms. Issues addressed include: the lack of state consciousness/affect, the nature and relevance of developmental and executive defects in group agents, the value of state interests and how interests relate to plausible claims of excuses, the shortfall of responsibility argument for group responsibility and its interface with state excuses, the symbolic and consequential (dis)value that state excuses may have, as well as concerns that states are entities that should live up to outstandingly high virtuous standards of impartiality and equanimity. I conclude that even if the range of excuses available to states does not overlap neatly with excuses available to ordinary individuals, some excuses may still be morally available to states. More generally, I emphasize the need for a systematic discussion of group excuses writ large, and of their relationship with the wider question of when group entities may legitimately be singled out to bear adverse normative consequences for wrongdoing.
Keywords excuses  state  group agency  group responsibility  fictions of agency and responsibility  group consciouness  state interests  standards of state virtue  constitutional disorders  Pettit
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 25,046
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Criminalizing the State.François Tanguay-Renaud - 2013 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 7 (2):255-284.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Excuses, Excuses.Marcia Baron - 2006 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 1 (1):21-39.
A Theory of the Normative Force of Pleas.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (2):479-502.
Responsibility and the Negligence Standard.Joseph Raz - 2010 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (1):1-18.
Les Excuses (« A Plea for Excuses »).Robert Franck & J. -L. Austin - 1967 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 72 (4):414 - 445.
Are Cultural Group Rights Against Individual Rights?Erol Kuyurtar - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 3:51-59.
Excusing Crime.Jeremy Horder - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
A DDL Approach to Pluralistic Ignorance and Collective Belief.Carlo Proietti & Erik J. Olsson - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):499-515.
Group Agency and Supervenience.Philip Pettit - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (Supplement):85-105.
How to Be a Redundant Realist.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2012 - Episteme 9 (3):271-282.
Group Identity, Rationality, and the State.Alex de Waal - 1997 - Critical Review 11 (2):279-289.
A Plea for Excuses.John Austin - 1956 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 57:1--30.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-10-30

Total downloads

31 ( #157,174 of 2,126,921 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #293,382 of 2,126,921 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums