Can collective responsibility for perpetrated evil persist over generations?

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (2):181-200 (2002)

In the first part of the paper an argument is developed to the effect that (1) there is no moral ground for individual persons to feel responsible for or guilty about crimes of their group to which they have in no way contributed; and (2) since there is no irreducibly collective responsibility nor guilt at any time, there is no question of them persisting over time. In the second part it is argued that there is nevertheless sufficient reason for innocent individual members of a group (that persists over time) to take on responsibility and guilt for the evil other (earlier) members have committed. The reason depends on the acceptability of a particular psychological theory of personal identity.
Keywords collective responsibility – distributive and non-distributive  guilt and guilt feelings  psychological and narrative theories of personal identity
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DOI 10.1023/A:1016076422725
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Shared Intentions and Shared Responsibility.Brook Jenkins Sadler - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):115–144.
Collective Responsibility, Universalizability, and Social Practices.Brook J. Sadler - 2007 - Journal of Social Philosophy 38 (3):486–503.

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