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 (...) paper I give a new argument against the idea that collectives can be irreducibly morally responsible in the ways that individuals can be. Drawing on recent work in the philosophy of mind (what Uriah Kriegel calls "the phenomenal intentionality research program") and moral theory (David Shoemaker's tripartite theory of moral responsibility), I argue that for something to have a mind, it must be phenomenally conscious, and that the fact that collectives lack phenomenal consciousness implies that they are incapable of accountability, an important form of moral responsibility. (shrink)
Some versions of the doctrine of divine simplicity imply that God lacks really differentiated parts. I present a new argument against these views based on divine beauty. The argument proceeds as follows: God is beautiful. If God is beautiful, then this beauty arises from some structure. If God’s beauty arises from a structure, then God possesses really differentiated parts. If these premises are true, then divine simplicity is false. I argue for each of the argument’s premises and defend it against (...) objections, including an objection based on analogical predication, and an objection that supposes that God is simple while appearing complex. (shrink)
The doctrine of divine simplicity has recently been ably defended, but very little work has been done considering reasons to believe God is simple. This paper begins to address this lack. I consider whether divine aseity or the related notion of divine sovereignty provide us with good reason to affirm divine simplicity. Divine complexity has sometimes been thought to imply that God would possess an efficient cause; or, alternatively, that God would be grounded by God’s constituents. I argue that divine (...) complexity implies neither of these, and so that a complex God could also exist a se. Similarly, a complex God might be thought less sovereign than a simple God, due to lacking control over the divine constituents. I argue in reply that a complex God either has just as much control as a simple God, or that a complex God’s relative lack of control should cause no theological problems. The upshot is that neither the doctrines of divine aseity or of divine sovereignty give theists good reason to endorse divine simplicity. (shrink)
We introduce Imitationism, a new theory of collective virtue—that is, of virtues and vices held by collectives such as corporations and governments. This theory has the advantage of clearly explaining how collectives can have virtues in robustly non-reductive ways without appealing to group minds. We then use this theory to elucidate some examples of collective virtue and respond to some objections.