Moral Responsibility and the Moral Community: Is Moral Responsibility Essentially Interpersonal?

The Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):247-263 (2016)
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Abstract

Many philosophers endorse the idea that there can be no moral responsibility without a moral community and thus hold that such responsibility is essentially interpersonal. In this paper, various interpretations of this idea are distinguished, and it is argued that no interpretation of it captures a significant truth. The popular view that moral responsibility consists in answerability is discussed and dismissed. The even more popular view that such responsibility consists in susceptibility to the reactive attitudes is also discussed, and it is argued that this view at best supports only an etiolated interpretation of the idea that moral responsibility is essentially interpersonal.

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Michael Zimmerman
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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