Chapter

Collective Moral Responsibility

Tracy Isaacs

in Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199782963
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897117 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782963.003.0002
Collective Moral Responsibility

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Philosophical approaches to collective moral responsibility fall into two main categories, individualist and collectivist. Individualists think of it as a reductive concept; collectivists think of it more holistically. Having argued in Chapter 1 that collectives’ intentional actions flow from their intentions, this chapter claims that we may therefore understand collective moral responsibility as operating at a different level from individual responsibility and as being justified by appeal to collective intentions and the actions to which they give rise. Collective moral responsibility is not a function of the moral responsibility of individuals. Instead, it is a function of the agency of collectives. This chapter explains, motivates, and defends a collectivist account of collective moral responsibility.

Keywords: collective moral responsibility; collective intentional action; collective intention; collective action; collective responsibility; collective agency

Chapter.  5825 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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