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Are Individualist Accounts of Collective Responsibility Morally Deficient?

Szigeti, Andras LU (2013) In Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality
Abstract
Individualists hold that moral responsibility can be ascribed to single human beings only. An important collectivist objection is that individualism is morally deficient because it leaves a normative residue. Without attributing responsibility to collectives there remains a “deficit in the accounting books” (Pettit). This collectivist strategy often uses judgment aggregation paradoxes to show that the collective can be responsible when no individual is. I argue that we do not need collectivism to handle such cases because the individualist analysis leaves no responsibility-deficit. Harm suffered in such situations can have only two sources. Harm is either due to culpable wrongdoing by individuals. Harm is then redressed by holding these... (More)
Individualists hold that moral responsibility can be ascribed to single human beings only. An important collectivist objection is that individualism is morally deficient because it leaves a normative residue. Without attributing responsibility to collectives there remains a “deficit in the accounting books” (Pettit). This collectivist strategy often uses judgment aggregation paradoxes to show that the collective can be responsible when no individual is. I argue that we do not need collectivism to handle such cases because the individualist analysis leaves no responsibility-deficit. Harm suffered in such situations can have only two sources. Harm is either due to culpable wrongdoing by individuals. Harm is then redressed by holding these individuals responsible. Or harm does not result from culpable wrongdoing. Such harm may have to be redressed too, but not because anyone is responsible for it. Therefore, the charge of moral insensitivity against individualist accounts can be rejected. Furthermore, in the last section of the paper I will show that collectivist talk about moral responsibility can be used for ethically questionable purposes as well. Collectivists cannot claim the moral high ground. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
in press
subject
keywords
moral responsibility agency collective responsibility collective agency judgment aggregation
in
Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality
editor
Schmid, Hans Bernhard; Konzelmann Ziv, Anita and Schmid, Ulla
publisher
Springer
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d7c2df79-c22e-411b-a49c-1c55b885deee (old id 3413011)
date added to LUP
2013-01-31 13:58:27
date last changed
2016-04-16 08:24:02
@misc{d7c2df79-c22e-411b-a49c-1c55b885deee,
  abstract     = {Individualists hold that moral responsibility can be ascribed to single human beings only. An important collectivist objection is that individualism is morally deficient because it leaves a normative residue. Without attributing responsibility to collectives there remains a “deficit in the accounting books” (Pettit). This collectivist strategy often uses judgment aggregation paradoxes to show that the collective can be responsible when no individual is. I argue that we do not need collectivism to handle such cases because the individualist analysis leaves no responsibility-deficit. Harm suffered in such situations can have only two sources. Harm is either due to culpable wrongdoing by individuals. Harm is then redressed by holding these individuals responsible. Or harm does not result from culpable wrongdoing. Such harm may have to be redressed too, but not because anyone is responsible for it. Therefore, the charge of moral insensitivity against individualist accounts can be rejected. Furthermore, in the last section of the paper I will show that collectivist talk about moral responsibility can be used for ethically questionable purposes as well. Collectivists cannot claim the moral high ground.},
  author       = {Szigeti, Andras},
  editor       = {Schmid, Hans Bernhard and Konzelmann Ziv, Anita and Schmid, Ulla},
  keyword      = {moral responsibility agency collective responsibility collective agency judgment aggregation},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb1f0500)},
  series       = {Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality},
  title        = {Are Individualist Accounts of Collective Responsibility Morally Deficient?},
  year         = {2013},
}