Res Publica 17 (4):411-419 (2011)

Authors
Michelle Ciurria
Washington University in St. Louis
Abstract
In Complicity and the Rwandan Genocide ( 2010b ), Larry May argues that complicity can be the basis for criminal liability if two conditions are met: First, the person’s actions or inactions must contribute to the harm in question, and secondly, the person must know that his actions or inactions risk contributing to this harm. May also states that the threshold for guilt for criminal liability is higher than for moral responsibility. I agree with this latter claim, but I think that it casts doubt on May’s account of criminal liability, particular in so-called performance cases in which low-level participants merely fail to help. This is because it is far from clear that passive non-helpers are morally responsible for their participation in widespread harms. Situationism purports to show that passive bystanders typically are not morally responsible for their role in such harms, because they were behaving reasonably subject to the constraints they faced. In this paper, I assess this claim, and defend it on the basis of O. W. Holmes’ standard of the reasonable person as a guide to judging criminal complicity. Finally, I provide a situationist account of the Rwandan genocide, which focuses on the systemic causes and primary perpetrators of the genocide, rather than low-level participants
Keywords Complicity  Responsibility  Rwanda  Situationism  Social psychology
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11158-011-9157-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Genocide: A Normative Account.Larry May - 2010 - Cambridge University Press.
Complicity and the Rwandan Genocide.Larry May - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (2):135-152.
Rationality, Responsibility and Blame.Michael Philips - 1987 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):141 - 154.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Understanding Complicity: Memory, Hope and the Imagination.Mihaela Mihai - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (5):504-522.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Complicity and the Rwandan Genocide.Larry May - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (2):135-152.
Causeless Complicity.Christopher Kutz - 2007 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 1 (3):289-305.
Harm and Culpability.A. P. Simester & A. T. H. Smith (eds.) - 1996 - Oxford University Press.
Legal and Moral Responsibility.Antony Duff - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (6):978-986.
The Moral Limits of Criminalizing Remote Harms.Dennis J. Baker - 2007 - New Criminal Law Review 10 (3):370-391.
The Basis of Moral Liability to Defensive Killing.Jeff McMahan - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):386–405.
Appraising Strict Liability.Andrew Simester (ed.) - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Liability for Failing to Rescue.TheodoreM Benditt - 1982 - Law and Philosophy 1 (3):391 - 418.
Grading Complicity in Rwandan Refugee Camps.Chiara Lepora & Robert E. Goodin - 2011 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (3):259-276.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-06-06

Total views
43 ( #261,014 of 2,498,502 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #282,166 of 2,498,502 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes