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  1. What it Might Be like to Be a Group Agent.Max F. Kramer - 2021 - Neuroethics 14 (3):437-447.
    Many theorists have defended the claim that collective entities can attain genuine agential status. If collectives can be agents, this opens up a further question: can they be conscious? That is, is there something that it is like to be them? Eric Schwitzgebel argues that yes, collective entities, may well be significantly conscious. Others, including Kammerer, Tononi and Koch, and List reject the claim. List does so on the basis of Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory of consciousness. I argue here that (...)
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  • Phenomenal Consciousness, Collective Mentality, and Collective Moral Responsibility.Matthew Baddorf - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2769-2786.
    Are corporations and other complex groups ever morally responsible in ways that do not reduce to the moral responsibility of their members? Christian List, Phillip Pettit, Kendy Hess, and David Copp have recently defended the idea that they can be. For them, complex groups (sometimes called collectives) can be irreducibly morally responsible because they satisfy the conditions for morally responsible agency; and this view is made more plausible by the claim (made by Theiner) that collectives can have minds. In this (...)
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  • The Loving State.Adam Lovett - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    I explore the idea that the state should love its citizens. It should not be indifferent towards them. Nor should it merely respect them. It should love them. We begin by looking at the bases of this idea. First, it can be grounded by a concern with state subordination. The state has enormous power over its citizens. This threatens them with subordination. Love ameliorates this threat. Second, it can be grounded by the state's lack of moral status. We all have (...)
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  • Collective Moral Agency and Self-Induced Moral Incapacity.Niels de Haan - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations:1-22.
    Collective moral agents can cause their own moral incapacity. If an agent is morally incapacitated, then the agent is exempted from responsibility. Due to self-induced moral incapacity, corporate responsibility gaps resurface. To solve this problem, I first set out and defend a minimalist account of moral competence for group agents. After setting out how a collective agent can cause its own moral incapacity, I argue that self-induced temporary exempting conditions do not free an agent from diachronic responsibility once the agent (...)
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  • Group Action Without Group Minds.Kenneth Silver - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):321-342.
    Groups behave in a variety of ways. To show that this behavior amounts to action, it would be best to fit it into a general account of action. However, nearly every account from the philosophy of action requires the agent to have mental states such as beliefs, desires, and intentions. Unfortunately, theorists are divided over whether groups can instantiate these states—typically depending on whether or not they are willing to accept functionalism about the mind. But we can avoid this debate. (...)
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  • What is It Like to Be a Group Agent?Christian List - 2016 - Noûs:295-319.
    The existence of group agents is relatively widely accepted. Examples are corporations, courts, NGOs, and even entire states. But should we also accept that there is such a thing as group consciousness? I give an overview of some of the key issues in this debate and sketch a tentative argument for the view that group agents lack phenomenal consciousness. In developing my argument, I draw on integrated information theory, a much-discussed theory of consciousness. I conclude by pointing out an implication (...)
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  • Collectives’ and Individuals’ Obligations: A Parity Argument.Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):38-58.
    Individuals have various kinds of obligations: keep promises, don’t cause harm, return benefits received from injustices, be partial to loved ones, help the needy and so on. How does this work for group agents? There are two questions here. The first is whether groups can bear the same kinds of obligations as individuals. The second is whether groups’ pro tanto obligations plug into what they all-things-considered ought to do to the same degree that individuals’ pro tanto obligations plug into what (...)
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  • Non‐Paradigmatic Punishments.Helen Brown Coverdale & Bill Wringe - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12824.
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, Issue 5, May 2022.
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  • Who's Responsible? (It's Complicated.) Assigning Blame in the Wake of the Financial Crisis.Kendy M. Hess - 2018 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 42 (1):133-155.
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  • Business Firms as Moral Agents: A Kantian Response to the Corporate Autonomy Problem.William Rehg - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics.
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  • Relationships, Authority, and Reasons: A Second-Personal Account of Corporate Moral Agency.Alan D. Morrison, Rita Mota & William J. Wilhelm - 2022 - Business Ethics Quarterly 32 (2):322-347.
    We present a second-personal account of corporate moral agency. This approach is in contrast to the first-personal approach adopted in much of the existing literature, which concentrates on the corporation’s ability to identify moral reasons for itself. Our account treats relationships and communications as the fundamental building blocks of moral agency. The second-personal account rests on a framework developed by Darwall. Its central requirement is that corporations be capable of recognizing the authority relations that they have with other moral agents. (...)
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  • I, Volkswagen.Stephanie Collins - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (2):283-304.
    Philosophers increasingly argue that collective agents can be blameworthy for wrongdoing. Advocates tend to endorse functionalism, on which collectives are analogous to complicated robots. This is puzzling: we don’t hold robots blameworthy. I argue we don’t hold robots blameworthy because blameworthiness presupposes the capacity for a mental state I call ‘moral self-awareness’. This raises a new problem for collective blameworthiness: collectives seem to lack the capacity for moral self-awareness. I solve the problem by giving an account of how collectives have (...)
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  • Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
    Decision-making typically requires judgments about causal relations: we need to know the causal effects of our actions and the causal relevance of various environmental factors. We investigate how several individuals' causal judgments can be aggregated into collective causal judgments. First, we consider the aggregation of causal judgments via the aggregation of probabilistic judgments, and identify the limitations of this approach. We then explore the possibility of aggregating causal judgments independently of probabilistic ones. Formally, we introduce the problem of causal-network aggregation. (...)
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  • Could Our Epistemic Reasons Be Collective Practical Reasons?Michelle M. Dyke - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Are epistemic reasons merely a species of instrumental practical reasons, making epistemic rationality a specialized form of instrumental practical rationality? Or are epistemic reasons importantly different in kind? Despite the attractions of the former view, Kelly (2003) argues quite compellingly that epistemic rationality cannot be merely a matter of taking effective means to one’s epistemic ends. I argue here that Kelly’s objections can be sidestepped if we understand epistemic reasons as instrumental reasons that arise in light of the aims held (...)
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  • What in the World Is Collective Responsibility?Alberto Giubilini & Neil Levy - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (2):191-217.
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  • Collective Agency: Moral and Amoral.Frank Hindriks - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):3-23.
  • Group Responsibility.Christian List - forthcoming - In Dana Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Are groups ever capable of bearing responsibility, over and above their individual members? This chapter discusses and defends the view that certain organized collectives – namely, those that qualify as group moral agents – can be held responsible for their actions, and that group responsibility is not reducible to individual responsibility. The view has important implications. It supports the recognition of corporate civil and even criminal liability in our legal systems, and it suggests that, by recognizing group agents as loci (...)
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  • Group Agency and Artificial Intelligence.Christian List - 2021 - Philosophy and Technology (4):1-30.
    The aim of this exploratory paper is to review an under-appreciated parallel between group agency and artificial intelligence. As both phenomena involve non-human goal-directed agents that can make a difference to the social world, they raise some similar moral and regulatory challenges, which require us to rethink some of our anthropocentric moral assumptions. Are humans always responsible for those entities’ actions, or could the entities bear responsibility themselves? Could the entities engage in normative reasoning? Could they even have rights and (...)
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  • Can a Corporation Be Worthy of Moral Consideration?Kenneth Silver - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 159 (1):253-265.
    Much has been written about what corporations owe society and whether it is appropriate to hold them responsible. In contrast, little has been written about whether anything is owed to corporations apart from what is owed to their members. And when this question has been addressed, the answer has always been that corporations are not worthy of any distinct moral consideration. This is even claimed by proponents of corporate agency. In this paper, I argue that proponents of corporate agency should (...)
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  • Consciousness, Belief, and the Group Mind Hypothesis.Søren Overgaard & Alessandro Salice - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1-25.
    According to the Group Mind Hypothesis, a group can have beliefs over and above the beliefs of the individual members of the group. Some maintain that there can be group mentality of this kind in the absence of any group-level phenomenal consciousness. We present a challenge to the latter view. First, we argue that a state is not a belief unless the owner of the state is disposed to access the state’s content in a corresponding conscious judgment. Thus, if there (...)
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  • Normative Responsibilities: Structure and Sources.Gunnar Björnsson & Bengt Brülde - 2017 - In Kristien Hens, Dorothee Horstkötter & Daniela Cutas (eds.), Parental Responsibility in the Context of Neuroscience and Genetics. Springer. pp. 13–33.
    Attributions of what we shall call normative responsibilities play a central role in everyday moral thinking. It is commonly thought, for example, that parents are responsible for the wellbeing of their children, and that this has important normative consequences. Depending on context, it might mean that parents are morally required to bring their children to the doctor, feed them well, attend to their emotional needs, or to see to it that someone else does. Similarly, it is sometimes argued that countries (...)
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  • The Moral Agency of Group Agents.Christopher Thompson - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (3):517-538.
    Christian List and Philip Pettit have recently developed a model of group agency on which an autonomous group agent can be formed, by deductive inference, from the beliefs and preferences of the individual group members. In this paper I raise doubts as to whether this type of group agent is a moral agent. The sentimentalist approach to moral responsibility sees a constitutive role for moral emotions, such as blame, guilt, and indignation, in our practices of attributing moral responsibility. These moral (...)
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  • Responsibility Unincorporated: Corporate Agency and Moral Responsibility.Luis Cheng-Guajardo - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):294-314.
    Those who argue that corporations can be morally responsible for what they do help us to understand how autonomous corporate agency is possible, and those who argue that they cannot be help us maintain distinctive value in human life. Each offers something valuable, but without securing the other's important contribution. I offer an account that secures both. I explain how corporations can be autonomous agents that we can continue to be justified in blaming as responsible agents, but without it also (...)
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  • Amelioration Vs. Perversion.Teresa Marques - 2020 - In Teresa Marques & Asa Maria Wikforss (eds.), Shifting Concepts: The Philosophy and Psychology of Conceptual Variability. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Words change meaning, usually in unpredictable ways. But some words’ meanings are revised intentionally. Revisionary projects are normally put forward in the service of some purpose – some serve specific goals of inquiry, and others serve ethical, political or social aims. Revisionist projects can ameliorate meanings, but they can also pervert. In this paper, I want to draw attention to the dangers of meaning perversions, and argue that the self-declared goodness of a revisionist project doesn’t suffice to avoid meaning perversions. (...)
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  • Culpable Ignorance in a Collective Setting.Säde Hormio - 2018 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 94:7-34.
    This paper explores types of organisational ignorance and ways in which organisational practices can affect the knowledge we have about the causes and effects of our actions. I will argue that because knowledge and information are not evenly distributed within an organisation, sometimes organisational design alone can create individual ignorance. I will also show that sometimes the act that creates conditions for culpable ignorance takes place at the collective level. This suggests that quality of will of an agent is not (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility and Collective Obligations Without Collective Moral Agents.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Saba Bazargan-Forward & Deborah Tollefsen (eds.), Handbook of Collective Responsibility. Routledge.
    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 (...)
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  • On Individual and Shared Obligations: In Defense of the Activist’s Perspective.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Mark Budolfson, Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press.
    We naturally attribute obligations to groups, and take such obligations to have consequences for the obligations of group members. The threat posed by anthropogenic climate change provides an urgent case. It seems that we, together, have an obligation to prevent climate catastrophe, and that we, as individuals, have an obligation to contribute. However, understood strictly, attributions of obligations to groups might seem illegitimate. On the one hand, the groups in question—the people alive today, say—are rarely fully-fledged moral agents, making it (...)
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  • Business Ethics.Jeffrey Moriarty - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article provides an overview of the field of business ethics.
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  • How I Learned to Worry About the Spaghetti Western: Collective Responsibility and Collective Agency.Caroline T. Arruda - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):anx067.
    In recent years, collective agency and responsibility have received a great deal of attention. One exciting development concerns whether collective, non-distributive responsibility can be assigned to collective non-agents, such as crowds and nation-states. I focus on an underappreciated aspect of these arguments—namely, that they sometimes derive substantive ontological conclusions about the nature of collective agents from these responsibility attributions. I argue that this order of inference, whose form I represent in what I call the Spaghetti Western Argument, largely fails, even (...)
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  • Does the Machine Need a Ghost? Corporate Agents as Nonconscious Kantian Moral Agents.Kendy M. Hess - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):67-86.
    Does Kantian moral agency require phenomenal consciousness? More to the point, can firms be Kantian moral agents—bound by Kantian obligations—in the absence of consciousness? After sketching the mechanics of my account of corporate agents, I consider three increasingly demanding accounts of Kantian moral agency, concluding that corporate agents can meet each successively higher threshold. They can act on universalizable principles and treat humanity as an end in itself; give such principlesto themselves,treattheir own‘humanity’ as an end itself, and act out of (...)
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  • Business Ethics.Alexei Marcoux - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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