This book provides a comprehensive, systematic theory of moral responsibility. The authors explore the conditions under which individuals are morally responsible for actions, omissions, consequences, and emotions. The leading idea in the book is that moral responsibility is based on 'guidance control'. This control has two components: the mechanism that issues in the relevant behavior must be the agent's own mechanism, and it must be appropriately responsive to reasons. The book develops an account of both components. The authors (...) go on to offer a sustained defense of the thesis that moral responsibility is compatible with causal determinism. (shrink)
Can we respond to injustices in the world in ways that do more than just address their consequences? In this book, Brooke A. Ackerly argues that what to do about injustice is not just an ethical or moral question, but a political question about assuming responsibility for injustice. Ultimately, Just Responsibility offers a theory of global injustice and political responsibility that can guide action.
In her long-awaited Responsibility for Justice, Young discusses our responsibilities to address "structural" injustices in which we among many are implicated, often by virtue of participating in a market, such as buying goods produced in sweatshops, or participating in booming housing markets that leave many homeless.
David Shoemaker presents a new pluralistic theory of responsibility, based on the idea of quality of will. His approach is motivated by our ambivalence to real-life cases of marginal agency, such as those caused by clinical depression, dementia, scrupulosity, psychopathy, autism, intellectual disability, and poor formative circumstances. Our ambivalent responses suggest that such agents are responsible in some ways but not others. Shoemaker develops a theory to account for our ambivalence, via close examination of several categories of pancultural emotional (...)responsibility responses and their appropriateness conditions. The result is three distinct types of responsibility, each with its own set of required capacities: attributability, answerability, and accountability. Attributability is about the having and expressing of various traits of character, and it is the target of a range of aretaic sentiments and emotional practices organized around disdain and admiration. Answerability is about one’s capacity to govern one’s actions and attitudes by one’s evaluative judgments about the worth of various practical reasons, and it is the target of a range of sentiments and emotional practices organized around regret and pride. Accountability is about one’s ability to regard others, both evaluatively and emotionally, and it is the target of a range of sentiments and emotional practices organized around anger and gratitude. In Part One of the book, this tripartite theory is developed and defended. In Part Two of the book, the tripartite theory’s predictions about specific marginal cases are tested, once certain empirical details about the nature of those agents have been filled in and discussed. (shrink)
R. Jay Wallace argues in this book that moral accountability hinges on questions of fairness: When is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? Would it be fair to do so even in a deterministic world? To answer these questions, we need to understand what we are doing when we hold people morally responsible, a stance that Wallace connects with a central class of moral sentiments, those of resentment, indignation, and guilt. To hold someone responsible, he (...) argues, is to be subject to these reactive emotions in one's dealings with that person. Developing this theme with unusual sophistication, he offers a new interpretation of the reactive emotions and traces their role in our practices of blame and moral sanction. With this account in place, Wallace advances a powerful and sustained argument against the common view that accountability requires freedom of will. Instead, he maintains, the fairness of holding people responsible depends on their rational competence: the power to grasp moral reasons and to control their behavior accordingly. He shows how these forms of rational competence are compatible with determinism. At the same time, giving serious consideration to incompatibilist concerns, Wallace develops a compelling diagnosis of the common assumption that freedom is necessary for responsibility. Rigorously argued, eminently readable, this book touches on issues of broad concern to philosophers, legal theorists, political scientists, and anyone with an interest in the nature and limits of responsibility. (shrink)
As the aim of the responsible robotics initiative is to ensure that responsible practices are inculcated within each stage of design, development and use, this impetus is undergirded by the alignment of ethical and legal considerations towards socially beneficial ends. While every effort should be expended to ensure that issues of responsibility are addressed at each stage of technological progression, irresponsibility is inherent within the nature of robotics technologies from a theoretical perspective that threatens to thwart the endeavour. This (...) is because the concept of responsibility, despite being treated as such, is not monolithic: rather this seemingly unified concept consists of converging and confluent concepts that shape the idea of what we colloquially call responsibility. From a different perspective, robotics will be simultaneously responsible and irresponsible depending on the particular concept of responsibility that is foregrounded: an observation that cuts against the grain of the drive towards responsible robotics. This problem is further compounded by responsible design and development as contrasted to responsible use. From a different perspective, the difficulty in defining the concept of responsibility in robotics is because human responsibility is the main frame of reference. Robotic systems are increasingly expected to achieve the human-level performance, including the capacities associated with responsibility and other criteria which are necessary to act responsibly. This subsists within a larger phenomenon where the difference between humans and non-humans, be it animals or artificial systems, appears to be increasingly blurred, thereby disrupting orthodox understandings of responsibility. This paper seeks to supplement the responsible robotics impulse by proposing a complementary set of human rights directed specifically against the harms arising from robotic and artificial intelligence technologies. The relationship between responsibilities of the agent and the rights of the patient suggest that a rights regime is the other side of responsibility coin. The major distinction of this approach is to invert the power relationship: while human agents are perceived to control robotic patients, the prospect for this to become reversed is beginning. As robotic technologies become ever more sophisticated, and even genuinely complex, asserting human rights directly against robotic harms become increasingly important. Such an approach includes not only developing human rights that ‘protect’ humans but also ‘strengthen’ people against the challenges introduced by robotics and AI [This distinction parallels Berlin’s negative and positive concepts of liberty ], by emphasising the social and reflective character of the notion of humanness as well as the difference between the human and nonhuman. This will allow using the human frame of reference as constitutive of, rather than only subject to, the robotic and AI technologies, where it is human and not technology characteristics that shape the human rights framework in the first place. (shrink)
Part I: Building blocks. 1. Folk convictions -- 2. Doubts about libertarianism -- 3. Nihilism and revisionism -- 4. Building a better theory -- Part II. A theory of moral responsibility. 5. The primacy of reasons -- 6. Justifying the practice -- 7. Responsible agency -- 8. Blame and desert -- 9. History and manipulation --10. Some conclusions.
One of the most distinguished living social philosophers, Margaret Gilbert develops and extends her application of plural subject theory of human sociality, first introduced in her earlier works On Social Facts and Living Together. Sociality and Responsibility presents an extended discussion of her proposal that joint commitments inherently involve obligations and rights, proposing, in effect, a new theory of obligations and rights. In addition, it demonstrates the extensive range and fruitfulness of plural subject theory by presenting accounts of social (...) rules, scientific change, political obligation, collective remorse, collective guilt, shared intention and an important class of rights and obligations. (shrink)
In Western countries a considerable number of older people move to a residential home when their health declines. Institutionalization often results in increased dependence, inactivity and loss of identity or self-worth (dignity). This raises the moral question as to how older, institutionalized people can remain autonomous as far as continuing to live in line with their own values is concerned. Following Walker's meta-ethical framework on the assignment of responsibilities, we suggest that instead of directing all older people towards more autonomy (...) in terms of independence, professional caregivers should listen to the life narrative of older people and attempt to find out how their personal identity, relations and values in life can be continued in the new setting. If mutual normative expectations between caregivers and older people are not carefully negotiated, it creates tension. This tension is illustrated by the narrative of Mr Powell, a retired successful public servant now living in a residential home. The narrative describes his current life, his need for help, his independent frame of mind, and his encounters with institutional and professional policies. Mr Powell sees himself as a man who has always cared for himself and others, and who still feels that he has to fulfil certain duties in life. Mr Powell's story shows that he is not always understood well by caregivers who respond from a one-sided view of autonomy as independence. This leads to misunderstanding and an underestimation of his need to be noticed and involved in the residential community. (shrink)
This article offers an account of the responsibility that individuals bear by virtue of their national belonging alone. Via their national pride, the living connect themselves actively with select actions performed by others who might long be dead. They imagine themselves as having won past wars, built ancient empires and the like. This same feat of their imagination imposes on them a responsibility for the bad outcomes that were brought about through their imagined exploits. Their national responsibility (...) for the "sins of the fathers" however lends itself only to the kinds of responses that these living agents can demand of themselves. While their national responsibility can be captured by either the vocabulary of guilt or that of shame, the latter turns out to be more promising as it better accounts for the strong hold that the national idea has on contemporary political thinking. (shrink)
Many assume that we can be responsible only what is voluntary. This leads to puzzlement about our responsibility for our beliefs, since beliefs seem not to be voluntary. I argue against the initial assumption, presenting an account of responsibility and of voluntariness according to which, not only is voluntariness not required for responsibility, but the feature which renders an attitude a fundamental object of responsibility (that the attitude embodies one’s take on the world and one’s place (...) in it) also guarantees that it could not be voluntary. It turns out, then, that, for failing to be voluntary, beliefs are a central example of the sort of thing for which we are most fundamentally responsible. (shrink)
How do people attribute responsibility in situations where the contributions of multiple agents combine to produce a joint outcome? The prevalence of over-determination in such cases makes this a difficult problem for counterfactual theories of causal responsibility. In this article, we explore a general framework for assigning responsibility in multiple agent contexts. We draw on the structural model account of actual causation (e.g., Halpern & Pearl, 2005) and its extension to responsibility judgments (Chockler & Halpern, 2004). (...) We review the main theoretical and empirical issues that arise from this literature and propose a novel model of intuitive judgments of responsibility. This model is a function of both pivotality (whether an agent made a difference to the outcome) and criticality (how important the agent is perceived to be for the outcome, before any actions are taken). The model explains empirical results from previous studies and is supported by a new experiment that manipulates both pivotality and criticality. We also discuss possible extensions of this model to deal with a broader range of causal situations. Overall, our approach emphasizes the close interrelations between causality, counterfactuals, and responsibility attributions. (shrink)
This chapter outlines the main ideas of my book National responsibility and global justice. It begins with two widely held but conflicting intuitions about what global justice might mean on the one hand, and what it means to be a member of a national community on the other. The first intuition tells us that global inequalities of the magnitude that currently exist are radically unjust, while the second intuition tells us that inequalities are both unavoidable and fair once national (...)responsibility is allowed to operate. This conflict might be resolved either by adopting a cosmopolitan theory of justice (which leaves no room for national responsibility) or by adopting a ?political? theory of justice (which denies that questions of distributive justice can arise beyond the walls of the sovereign state). Since neither resolution is satisfactory, the chapter defends the idea of national responsibility and proposes a new theory of global justice, whose main elements are the protection of basic human rights worldwide, and fair terms of interaction between independent political communities. (shrink)
Intentional collective action -- Collective moral responsibility -- Collective guilt -- Individual responsibility for (and in) collective wrongs -- Collective obligation, individual obligation, and individual moral responsibility -- Individual moral responsibility in wrongful social practice.
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) reflects an innovation paradigm that acknowledges that market innovations do not automatically deliver on socially desirable objectives, and requires a broad governance of knowledge coalitions of governmental bodies as well as industrial and societal actors to address market deficits. Responsible Innovation should be understood as a new paradigm for innovation which requires institutional changes in the research and innovation system and the public governance of the economy. It also requires the institutionalisation of an ethics of (...) co-responsibility as well as the introduction of new standards and certification processes for products. Dr. Dr. phil. von Schomberg will introduce Responsible Innovation against the background of 6 deficits of the (global) research and innovation system. (shrink)
Recently, a number of philosophers have begun to question the commonly held view that choice or voluntary control is a precondition of moral responsibility. According to these philosophers, what really matters in determining a person’s responsibility for some thing is whether that thing can be seen as indicative or expressive of her judgments, values, or normative commitments. Such accounts might therefore be understood as updated versions of what Susan Wolf has called “real self views,” insofar as they attempt (...) to ground an agent’s responsibility for her actions and attitudes in the fact (when it is a fact) that they express who she is as a moral agent. As such, they seem to be open to some of the same objections Wolf originally raised to such accounts, and in particular to the objection that they cannot license the sorts of robust moral assessments involved in our current practices of moral responsibility. My aim in this paper is to try to respond to this challenge, by clarifying the kind of robust moral assessments I take to be licensed by (at least some) non-volitional accounts of responsibility and by explaining why these assessments do not in general require the agent to have voluntary control over everything for which she is held responsible. I also argue that the limited applicability of the distinction between “bad agents” and “blameworthy agents” on these accounts is in fact a mark in their favor. (shrink)
More than a century ago, John Dewey challenged the education community to look to civic involvement for the betterment of both community and campus. Today, the challenge remains. In his landmark book, editor Thomas Ehrlich has collected essays from national leaders who have focused on civic responsibility and higher education. Imparting both philosophy and working examples, Ehrlich provides the inspiration for innovative new programs in this essential area of learning.
K. E. Boxer explores moral responsibility, and whether it is compatible with causal determinism. She suggests that to answer this question we must focus on responsibility in the sense of liability, and that an incompatibilist view may only be preserved on an understanding of the moral desert of punishment that many find morally problematic.
Each of the books that Hannah Arendt published in her lifetime was unique, and to this day each continues to provoke fresh thought and interpretations. This was never more true than for Eichmann in Jerusalem, her account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann, where she first used the phrase “the banality of evil.” Her consternation over how a man who was neither a monster nor a demon could nevertheless be an agent of the most extreme evil evoked derision, outrage, and (...) misunderstanding. The firestorm of controversy prompted Arendt to readdress fundamental questions and concerns about the nature of evil and the making of moral choices. Responsibility and Judgment gathers together unpublished writings from the last decade of Arendt’s life, as she struggled to explicate the meaning of Eichmann in Jerusalem. At the heart of this book is a profound ethical investigation, “Some Questions of Moral Philosophy”; in it Arendt confronts the inadequacy of traditional moral “truths” as standards to judge what we are capable of doing, and she examines anew our ability to distinguish good from evil and right from wrong. We see how Arendt comes to understand that alongside the radical evil she had addressed in earlier analyses of totalitarianism, there exists a more pernicious evil, independent of political ideology, whose execution is limitless when the perpetrator feels no remorse and can forget his acts as soon as they are committed. Responsibility and Judgment is an essential work for understanding Arendt’s conception of morality; it is also an indispensable investigation into some of the most troubling and important issues of our time. (shrink)
This paper argues against incorporating assessments of individual responsibility into healthcare policies by expanding an existing argument and offering a rebuttal to an argument in favour of such policies. First, it is argued that what primarily underlies discussions surrounding personal responsibility and healthcare is not causal responsibility, moral responsibility or culpability, as one might expect, but biases towards particular highly stigmatised behaviours. A challenge is posed for proponents of taking personal responsibility into account within health (...) policy to either expand the debate to also include socially accepted behaviours or to provide an alternative explanation of the narrowly focused discussion. Second, a critical response is offered to arguments that claim that policies based on personal responsibility would lead to several positive outcomes including healthy behaviour change, better health outcomes and decreases in healthcare spending. It is argued that using individual responsibility as a basis for resource allocation in healthcare is unlikely to motivate positive behaviour changes, and is likely to increase inequality which may lead to worse health outcomes overall. Finally, the case of West Virginia's Medicaid reform is examined, which raises a worry that policies focused on personal responsibility have the potential to lead to increases in medical spending overall. (shrink)
We understand responsible leadership as a social-relational and ethical phenomenon, which occurs in social processes of interaction. While the prevailing leadership literature has for the most part focussed on the relationship between leaders and followers in the organization and defined followers as subordinates, we show in this article that leadership takes place in interaction with a multitude of followers as stakeholders inside and outside the corporation. Using an ethical lens, we discuss leadership responsibilities in a stakeholder society, thereby following Bass (...) and Steidelmeier’s suggestion to discuss “leadership in the context of contemporary stakeholder theory” (1999: 200). Moreover, from a relational and stakeholder perspective we approach the questions: What is responsible leadership? What makes a responsible leader? What qualities are needed? Finally, we propose a so-called “roles model” of responsible leadership, which gives a gestalt to a responsible leader and describes the different roles he or she takes in leading stakeholders and business in society. (shrink)
This article offers an account of the responsibility that individuals bear by virtue of their national belonging alone. Via their national pride, the living connect themselves actively with select actions performed by others who might long be dead. They imagine themselves as having won past wars, built ancient empires and the like. This same feat of their imagination imposes on them a responsibility for the bad outcomes that were brought about through their imagined exploits. Their national responsibility (...) for the “sins of the fathers” however lends itself only to the kinds of responses that these living agents can demand of themselves. While their national responsibility can be captured by either the vocabulary of guilt or that of shame, the latter turns out to be more promising as it better accounts for the strong hold that the national idea has on contemporary political thinking. (shrink)
Discussion of epistemic responsibility typically focuses on belief formation and actions leading to it. Similarly, accounts of collective epistemic responsibility have addressed the issue of collective belief formation and associated actions. However, there has been little discussion of collective responsibility for preventing epistemic harms, particularly those preventable only by the collective action of an unorganized group. We propose an account of collective epistemic responsibility which fills this gap. Building on Hindriks' (2019) account of collective moral (...) class='Hi'>responsibility, we introduce the Epistemic Duty to Join Forces. Our theory provides an account of the responsibilities of scientists to prevent epistemic harms during inquiry. (shrink)
Philosophers have long agreed that moral responsibility might not only have a freedom condition, but also an epistemic condition. Moral responsibility and knowledge interact, but the question is exactly how. Ignorance might constitute an excuse, but the question is exactly when. Surprisingly enough, the epistemic condition has only recently attracted the attention of scholars, and it is high time for a full volume on the topic. The chapters in this volume address the following central questions. Does the epistemic (...) condition require akrasia? Why does blameless ignorance excuse? Does moral ignorance sustained by one’s culture excuse? Does the epistemic condition involve knowledge of the wrongness or wrongmaking features of one’s action? Is the epistemic condition an independent condition, or is it derivative from one’s quality of will or intentions? Is the epistemic condition sensitive to degrees of difficulty? Are there different kinds of moral responsibility and thus multiple epistemic conditions? Is the epistemic condition revisionary? What is the basic structure of the epistemic condition? (shrink)
The essay theorizes the responsibilities moral agents may be said to have in relation to global structural social processes that have unjust consequences. How ought moral agents, whether individual or institutional, conceptualize their responsibilities in relation to global injustice? I propose a model of responsibility from social connection as an interpretation of obligations of justice arising from structural social processes. I use the example of justice in transnational processes of production, distribution and marketing of clothing to illustrate operations of (...) structural social processes that extend widely across regions of the world. The social connection model of responsibility says that all agents who contribute by their actions to the structural processes that produce injustice have responsibilities to work to remedy these injustices. I distinguish this model from a more standard model of responsibility, which I call a liability model. I specify five features of the social connection model of responsibility that distinguish it from the liability model: it does not isolate perpetrators; it judges background conditions of action; it is more forward looking than backward looking; its responsibility is essentially shared; and it can be discharged only through collective action. The final section of the essay begins to articulate parameters of reasoning that agents can use for thinking about their own action in relation to structural injustice. a Footnotesa Thanks to David Alexander, Daniel Drezner, David Owen, and Ellen Frankel Paul for comments on an earlier version of this essay. Thanks to David Newstone for research assistance. (shrink)
This article explains how we ordinary subjects of a state who are neither political leaders nor functionaries are responsible for outcomes that are properly attributed to that state and that took place during our adult lifetime. Its focus is on the connection we forge to those outcomes via our obedience alone. If our responsibility as subjects is justified, it would apply under all regime types including oppressive and authoritarian ones. The argument is that this responsibility can only be (...) justified within a minimal account of agency and a bare-bones account of responsibility. Thus, while we incur a burden of responsibility for the state via our obedience alone, that burden does not suffice to either blame us or extract remedies from us for state injustices. For us obedient subjects, however, it is important that we be cognizant of this burden as it marks the most minimal agency we exercise in the state. (shrink)
This essay attempts to provide and defend what may be the first actual argument in support of P. F. Strawson's merely stated vision of a response-dependent theory of moral responsibility. It does so by way of an extended analogy with the funny. In part 1, it makes the easier and less controversial case for response-dependence about the funny. In part 2, it shows the tight analogy between anger and amusement in developing the harder and more controversial case for response-dependence (...) about a kind of blameworthiness. It then defends the view from three serious skeptical challenges. (shrink)
What is a fair distribution of resources and other goods when individuals are partly responsible for their achievements? This book develops a theory of fairness incorporating a concern for personal responsibility, opportunities and freedom. With a critical perspective, it makes accessible the recent developments in economics and philosophy that define social justice in terms of equal opportunities. It also proposes new perspectives and original ideas. The book separates mathematical sections from the rest of the text, so that the main (...) concepts and ideas are easily accessible to non-technical readers. -/- It is often thought that responsibility is a complex notion, but this monograph proposes a simple analytical framework that makes it possible to disentangle the different concepts of fairness that deal with neutralizing inequalities for which the individuals are not held responsible, rewarding their effort, respecting their choices, or staying neutral with respect to their responsibility sphere. It dwells on paradoxes and impossibilities only as a way to highlight important ethical options and always proposes solutions and reasonable compromises among the conflicting values surrounding equality and responsibility. -/- The theory is able to incorporate disincentive problems and is illustrated in the examination of applied policy issues such as: income redistribution when individuals may be held responsible for their choices of labor supply or education; social and private insurance when individuals may be held responsible for their risky lifestyle; second chance policies; the measurement of inequality of opportunities and social mobility. (shrink)
Are there key respects in which character and character defects are voluntary? Can agents with serious vices be rational agents? Jonathan Jacobs answers in the affirmative. Moral character is shaped through voluntary habits, including the ways we habituate ourselves, Jacobs believes. Just as individuals can voluntarily lead unhappy lives without making unhappiness an end, so can they degrade their ethical characters through voluntary action that does not have establishment of vice as its end. Choosing Character presents an account of ethical (...) disability, expanding the domain of responsibility and explicating the role of character in ethical cognition. Jacobs contends that agents become ethically disabled voluntarily when their habits impair their ability to properly appreciate ethical considerations. Such agents are rational, responsible individuals who are yet incapable of virtuous action. The view develops and modifies Aristotelian claims concerning the fixity of character. Jacobs' interpretation is developed in contrast to the overlooked work of Maimonides, who also used Aristotelian resources but argued for the possibility of character change. The notion of ethical disability has profound ramifications for ethics and for current debates about blame and punishment. (shrink)
Drug use and drug addiction are severely stigmatised around the world. Marc Lewis does not frame his learning model of addiction as a choice model out of concern that to do so further encourages stigma and blame. Yet the evidence in support of a choice model is increasingly strong as well as consonant with core elements of his learning model. I offer a responsibility without blame framework that derives from reflection on forms of clinical practice that support change and (...) recovery in patients who cause harm to themselves and others. This framework can be used to interrogate our own attitudes and responses, so that we can better see how to acknowledge the truth about choice and agency in addiction, while avoiding stigma and blame, and instead maintaining care and compassion alongside a commitment to working for social justice and good. (shrink)
This book goes beyond historical and psychological explanations of the Holocaust to directly address the moral responsibility of individuals involved in it. While defending the view that individuals caught up in large-scale historical events like the Holocaust are still responsible for their choices, he provides the philosophical tools needed to assess the responsibility, both negative and positive, of perpetrators, accomplices, bystanders, victims, helpers and rescuers. This book will be an important addition to courses on the Holocaust in social (...) and political philosophy, history, religion, and applied ethics. (shrink)
My primary target in this paper is a puzzle that emerges from the conjunction of several seemingly innocent assumptions in action theory and the metaphysics of moral responsibility. The puzzle I have in mind is this. On one widely held account of moral responsibility, an agent is morally responsible only for those actions or outcomes over which that agent exercises control. Recently, however, some have cited cases where agents appear to be morally responsible without exercising any control. This (...) leads some to abandon the control-based account of responsibility and replace it with an alternative account. It leads others to deny the intuition that agents are responsible in these troublesome cases. After outlining the account of moral responsibility I have in mind, I look at some of the arguments made against the viability of this theory. I show that there are conceptual resources for salvaging the control account, focusing in particular on the nature of vigilance. I also argue that there is empirical data that supports the control account so conceived. (shrink)
A number of companies including Google and BMW are currently working on the development of autonomous cars. But if fully autonomous cars are going to drive on our roads, it must be decided who is to be held responsible in case of accidents. This involves not only legal questions, but also moral ones. The first question discussed is whether we should try to design the tort liability for car manufacturers in a way that will help along the development and improvement (...) of autonomous vehicles. In particular, Patrick Lin’s concern that any security gain derived from the introduction of autonomous cars would constitute a trade-off in human lives will be addressed. The second question is whether it would be morally permissible to impose liability on the user based on a duty to pay attention to the road and traffic and to intervene when necessary to avoid accidents. Doubts about the moral legitimacy of such a scheme are based on the notion that it is a form of defamation if a person is held to blame for causing the death of another by his inattention if he never had a real chance to intervene. Therefore, the legitimacy of such an approach would depend on the user having an actual chance to do so. The last option discussed in this paper is a system in which a person using an autonomous vehicle has no duty of interfering, but is still held responsible for possible accidents. Two ways of doing so are discussed, but only one is judged morally feasible. (shrink)
The concept of distributed moral responsibility (DMR) has a long history. When it is understood as being entirely reducible to the sum of (some) human, individual and already morally loaded actions, then the allocation of DMR, and hence of praise and reward or blame and punishment, may be pragmatically difficult, but not conceptually problematic. However, in distributed environments, it is increasingly possible that a network of agents, some human, some artificial (e.g. a program) and some hybrid (e.g. a group (...) of people working as a team thanks to a software platform), may cause distributed moral actions (DMAs). These are morally good or evil (i.e. morally loaded) actions caused by local interactions that are in themselves neither good nor evil (morally neutral). In this article, I analyse DMRs that are due to DMAs, and argue in favour of the allocation, by default and overridably, of full moral responsibility (faultless responsibility) to all the nodes/agents in the network causally relevant for bringing about the DMA in question, independently of intentionality. The mechanism proposed is inspired by, and adapts, three concepts: back propagation from network theory, strict liability from jurisprudence and common knowledge from epistemic logic. (shrink)
Traditionally, the manufacturer/operator of a machine is held (morally and legally) responsible for the consequences of its operation. Autonomous, learning machines, based on neural networks, genetic algorithms and agent architectures, create a new situation, where the manufacturer/operator of the machine is in principle not capable of predicting the future machine behaviour any more, and thus cannot be held morally responsible or liable for it. The society must decide between not using this kind of machine any more (which is not a (...) realistic option), or facing a responsibility gap, which cannot be bridged by traditional concepts of responsibility ascription. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine whether agents who commit testimonial injustice are morally responsible for their wrongdoing, given that they are ignorant of their wrongdoing. Fricker (2007) argues that agents whose social setting lacks the concepts or reasons necessary for them to correct for testimonial injustice are excused. I argue that agents whose social settings have these concepts or reasons available are also typically excused, because they lack the capacity to recognise those concepts or reasons. Attempts to trace this lack (...) of capacity back to an earlier culpable wrongdoing will often fail, due to there being no point at which these perpetrators knowingly chose to develop their prejudices. Attempts to ground culpability under Talbert’s (2008) Attributionist account of moral responsibility will also fail. This is because perpetrators’ lack of awareness of what they are doing makes it the case that they are not expressing objectionable evaluative judgments in the way required for blameworthiness. Finally, I argue that our temptation to blame agents who commit testimonial injustice is not completely unfounded. Appealing to Watson’s (1996) attributability/accountability distinction allows us to make sense of how some responses to the jurors are appropriate, despite their being excused. (shrink)
It is commonplace to attribute obligations to φ or blameworthiness for φ-ing to groups even when no member has an obligation to φ or is individually blameworthy for not φ-ing. Such non-distributive attributions can seem problematic in cases where the group is not a moral agent in its own right. In response, it has been argued both that non-agential groups can have the capabilities requisite to have obligations of their own, and that group obligations can be understood in terms of (...) moral demands on individual group members. It has also been suggested that members of groups can share responsibility for an outcome in virtue of being causally or socially connected to that outcome. This paper discusses the agency problem and argues that the most promising attempts at solutions understand group obligations and blameworthiness as grounded in demands on individual agents. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe contemporary debate over responsibility for belief is divided over the issue of whether such responsibility requires doxastic control, and whether this control must be voluntary in nature. It has recently become popular to hold that responsibility for belief does not require voluntary doxastic control, or perhaps even any form of doxastic ‘control’ at all. However, Miriam McCormick has recently argued that doxastic responsibility does in fact require quasi-voluntary doxastic control: “guidance control,” a complex, compatibilist form (...) of control. In this paper, I pursue a negative and a positive task. First, I argue that grounding doxastic responsibility in guidance control requires too much for agents to be the proper targets for attributions of doxastic responsibility. I will focus my criticisms on three cases in which McCormick's account gives the intuitively wrong verdict. Second, I develop a modified conception of McCormick's notion of “ownership of belief,” which I call Weak Doxastic Ownership. I employ this conception to argue that responsibility for belief is possible even in the absence of guidance control. In doing so, I argue that the notion of doxastic ownership can do important normative work in grounding responsibility for belief without being subsumed under or analyzed in terms of the notion of doxastic control. (shrink)
[This download includes the table of contents and chapter 1.] -/- When we praise, blame, punish, or reward people for their actions, we are holding them responsible for what they have done. Common sense tells us that what makes human beings responsible has to do with their minds and, in particular, the relationship between their minds and their actions. Yet the empirical connection is not necessarily obvious. The “guilty mind” is a core concept of criminal law, but if a defendant (...) on trial for murder were found to have serious brain damage, which brain parts or processes would have to be damaged for him to be considered not responsible, or less responsible, for the crime? The authors argue that evidence from neuroscience and the other cognitive sciences can illuminate the nature of responsibility and agency. They go on to offer a novel and comprehensive neuroscientific theory of human responsibility. (shrink)
One of the main contentions of the framework for Responsible Innovation (RI) is that social and ethical aspects have to be addressed by deliberative engagement with stakeholders and the wider public throughout the innovation process. The aim of this article is to reflect on the question to what extent is deliberative engagement suitable for conducting RI in business. We discuss several tensions that arise when this framework is applied in the business context. Further, we analyse the place of deliberative engagement (...) in several theories of business ethics. We conclude that there remains a tension between the ideal of RI and the way in which the competitive market operates. Hence, RI scholars should reflect more critically on changes that are required in the market in order to make RI possible, modify the ideal of deliberative engagement for RI in business, or attempt to strike a balance between these two responses. (shrink)
The notion of “responsibility gap” with artificial intelligence was originally introduced in the philosophical debate to indicate the concern that “learning automata” may make more difficult or impossible to attribute moral culpability to persons for untoward events. Building on literature in moral and legal philosophy, and ethics of technology, the paper proposes a broader and more comprehensive analysis of the responsibility gap. The responsibility gap, it is argued, is not one problem but a set of at least (...) four interconnected problems – gaps in culpability, moral and public accountability, active responsibility—caused by different sources, some technical, other organisational, legal, ethical, and societal. Responsibility gaps may also happen with non-learning systems. The paper clarifies which aspect of AI may cause which gap in which form of responsibility, and why each of these gaps matter. It proposes a critical review of partial and non-satisfactory attempts to address the responsibility gap: those which present it as a new and intractable problem, those which dismiss it as a false problem, and those which reduce it to only one of its dimensions or sources and/or present it as a problem that can be solved by simply introducing new technical and/or legal tools. The paper also outlines a more comprehensive approach to address the responsibility gaps with AI in their entirety, based on the idea of designing socio-technical systems for “meaningful human control", that is systems aligned with the relevant human reasons and capacities. (shrink)
In cases of complicity in one’s own unfreedom and in structural injustice, it initially appears that agents are only vicariously responsible for their complicity because of the roles circumstantial and constitutive luck play in bringing about their complicity. By drawing on work from the phenomenological tradition, this paper rejects this conclusion and argues for a new responsive sense of agency and responsibility in cases of complicity. Highlighting the explanatory role of stubbornness in cases of complicity, it is argued that (...) although agents may only be vicariously responsible for becoming complicit, they can be held more directly responsible for entrenching their complicity. The complicit agent is responsible for their complicity to the extent that they fail to take responsibility for it. (shrink)
Upshot: In our target article we claimed that, at least since Weber and Varela, enactivism has incorporated a theoretical commitment to one important aspect of Jonas’s philosophical biology, namely its anthropomorphism, which is at odds with the methodological commitments of modern science. In this general reply we want to clarify what we mean by anthropomorphism, and explain why we think it is incompatible with science. We do this by spelling out what we call the “Jonasian inference,” i.e., the idea that (...) we are entitled, based on our first-person experience of teleology, to take the appearance of teleology in other living beings at face value. (shrink)
I argue in this article that responsible leadership (Maak and Pless, 2006) contributes to building social capital and ultimately to both a sustainable business and the common good. I show, first, that responsible leadership in a global stakeholder society is a relational and inherently moral phenomenon that cannot be captured in traditional dyadic leader–follower relationships (e.g., to subordinates) or by simply focusing on questions of leadership effectiveness. Business leaders have to deal with moral complexity resulting from a multitude of stakeholder (...) claims and have to build enduring and mutually beneficial relationships with all relevant stakeholders. I contend, second, that in doing so leaders bundle the energy of␣different constituencies and enable social capital building. Social capital can be understood as actual or potential resources inherent to more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual recognition (Bourdieu 1980). By drawing on network analysis I suggest, third, that responsible leaders weave durable relational structures and ultimately networks of relationships which are rich in ties to otherwise unconnected individuals or groups. Against this background I argue, fourth, that responsible leadership may result in the creation of value networks (Lord and Brown, 2001) of multiple stakeholders, which enhance social capital and thereby contribute to both a sustainable business and the common good. (shrink)
In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness. The level of stress that the forgetful agent is under modulates judgments of responsibility, though the level of care that the agent exhibits (...) toward performing the forgotten action does not. We argue that this result has important implications for a long-running debate about the nature of responsible agency. (shrink)
Introduction: The metaphysics of responsibility and philosophy of education -- Moral responsibility, authenticity, and the problem of manipulation -- A novel perspective on the problem of authenticity -- Forward-looking authenticity in the internalism/externalism debate -- Authentic education, indoctrination, and moral responsibility -- Moral responsibility, hard incompatibilism, and interpersonal relationships -- On the significance of moral responsibility and love -- Love, commendability, and moral obligation -- Love, determinism, and normative education.