Group Moral Agency as Environmental Accountability

Social Philosophy Today 24:69-88 (2008)
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Abstract

If there is such a thing as a virtuous community, as Aristotle would have it, and if members of communities need to understand themselves in relation to community, then we have a large space from within which to grapple with the issues of social responsibility. Iris Marion Young developed a “social connection model” of justice which requires individuals to think outside of the borders of any one society when considering their responsibility to others. Donald Beggs advocates for a “group moral virtue,” seeing the possibility of the development of virtuous characteristics of groups separate from their individual members.Combining these two ideas, I argue that it is possible to conceive of a society’s responsibility as one of developing such group virtues as will respond to the structural injustices of our interconnected world.

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Joan Woolfrey
West Chester University

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