Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2665-2685 (2020)

Authors
Joseph Metz
University of Arizona
Abstract
Many important harms result in large part from our collective omissions, such as harms from our omissions to stop climate change and famines. Accounting for responsibility for collective omissions turns out to be particularly challenging. It is hard to see how an individual contributes anything to a collective omission to prevent harm if she couldn’t have made a difference to that harm on her own. Some groups are able to prevent such harms, but it is highly contentious whether groups can be loci of responsibility. This paper takes an existing and plausible framework of moral responsibility—one based on abilities—and scales it up to accommodate responsibility for collective omissions. This centrally involves identifying what the relevant collective abilities are and how they work. One significant benefit of this approach is that we can do this while remaining neutral on the debates about collective agency and collective responsibility by showing how individualist and collectivist versions of the theory work. Finally, I explore several further upshots of the scaled-up ability-based account, including that degrees of responsibility can be cashed out in terms of strengths of the relevant abilities, which has both theoretical and applied implications.
Keywords Applied Ethics  Collective Responsibility  Ethics  Omissions  Moral Responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2021
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-020-01568-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,066
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

Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829.

View all 69 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Ability and Responsibility for Omissions.Randolph Clarke - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 73 (2-3):195 - 208.
Collective Responsibility and Duties to Respond.Radzik Linda - 2001 - Social Theory and Practice 27 (3):455-471.
Omissions, Responsibility, and Symmetry.Randolph Clarke - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):594-624.
Vigilance and Control.Samuel Murray & Manuel Vargas - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):825-843.
Collective Responsibility.Marion Smiley - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Collective Omissions and Responsibility.Björn Petersson - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (2):243-261.
Omissions as Possibilities.Sara Bernstein - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):1-23.
La Responsabilité Pour Ce Qui Est Inévitable.Cyrille Michon - 2018 - Acta Philosophica 27 (1):27-44.
Responsibility, Control, and Omissions.John Martin Fischer - 1997 - The Journal of Ethics 1 (1):45-64.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-10-10

Total views
29 ( #391,888 of 2,498,775 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #170,341 of 2,498,775 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes