Does responsibility for remedying harm come down to who caused the harm? Consequently, it is compatible with a variety of views about the nature of the relevant individual responsibility. In this paper, I do not defend a particular view on the content of these norms. Wittgenstein offers a very useful observation in Remarks on Colour that is an analogy for the shortcomings of methodological individualism: 53. However, what if all these efforts to delegate fail? Design issues In my view, humanity faces a serious problem of institutional design. Later generations are subject to the arbitrary and apparently unaccountable power of earlier generations. Greek society and political institutions supported the development of character containing the proper virtues.
For Lukes: The point, in other words, of locating power is to fix responsibility for consequences held to flow from the action, or inaction, of certain specifiable agents. At the very least, we need to make room for various kinds of practical judgments, including those that draw attention to who is best able to remedy the harm in question and at what cost. It is not compatible with the lack of social cohesion which is characteristic of developed industrial societies or the ideology of individual moral responsibility. The second is that we need to think, not only about whether groups are morally responsible for harm, but about whether we should hold them morally responsible for harm and, if so, under what conditions. I then developed the delegated responsibility model by suggesting how it leads us to understand both past failures and prospective responsibility. Politics will find a way to go on, irrespective of philosophical creases. The latter is an act that we ourselves perform as part of a social or legal practice of accountability.
For instance, the internal decision structure performs a prescriptive and not just a descriptive function. For present purposes, I will not distinguish between these categories. Collective moral responsibility raises disagreement between conceptions of collective responsibility which maintain that only individual human agents can be held morally responsible, and conceptions which maintain that groups, such as , can be held morally responsible as groups, independently of their members. For French, corporate moral actors have ontological status, and corporate acts and intentions are normative and rule-governed. Moreover, as argued in Smiley 2010, if we are truly concerned about collective moral responsibility, rather than about the moral responsibility of individuals who belong to collectives, we do not have to insist that individual members have performed actions that render them morally blameworthy.
This thought is made plausible by facts such as the falling price of renewables, and the indirect costs of fossil fuel consumption e. The principle of collective responsibility is not impaired by the fact that decisions may be made in a cabinet committee rather than by the full cabinet. In some cases, the concern is with the general practice of collective responsibility and its consequences for our ability to sustain the values of individualism, freedom, and justice. It is important to note that our support for individual liability over group liability is a matter of preference, not a matter of moral superiority. There is no other foundation. An aggregate collective is a loose collection of people. Held observes that the law is ahead of many philosophers in its recognition of the legal standing of corporations and other groups.
He adds: Moreover, since our ideas about power and responsibility are so intimately related, disagreements about the appropriate criteria for holding collectives responsible for consequences will be reflected in disputes about the meaning of 'power' Connolly 1974, p. Whatever I do, whichever way I turn, I can neither feed nor clothe my family, nor take part in public affairs as a citizen, nor speak the truth as I conceive it, without being stained with the blood of my brothers and sisters; without putting my hands into the wickedness that prostitutes every sacred national and religious function. Larry May offers one of the most interesting arguments of the latter sort in his own defense of collective moral agency May 1987, 2006 and 2010. List and Pettit do not answer this question. The consequence will be that a new government will be formed or parliament will be dissolved and a will be called.
The disposition to take charge and help in an emergency is a moral virtue. How can a group, above its individual members, exert this level of control? If moral responsibility were ascribed to either kind of aggregate for some alleged harm or wrongdoing, it would be ascribed to group members and shared among them as individuals. In this context, ascriptions of responsibility and judgments of blame are usually triggered by harm caused to one person by another. Given this, some responsibility remains cf. In other words, we cannot simply replace causal responsibility with capacity for remedying a problem as a basis for ascribing forward looking responsibility.
Widespread harms for which organizations are responsible are frequent occurrences. He is guilty of or for more than we are, and more harm is his fault, but it does not necessarily follow that he is more guilty or more at fault than the rest of us Feinberg 1970, p. Carol Rovane Rovane 2014 , Tracy Isaacs Isaacs 2011; Isaacs 2014 , Ludger Jansen Jansen 2014 , Derrick Darby and Nyla Branscombe Darby and Branscombe, 2014 and Marion Smiley Smiley 2014 all make this clear from their own theoretical perspectives. What is the relative cost of the projects in question and how does cost itself rank in importance here? In the case of borderline conglomerates, a group's structure will play a significant role in shaping its actions, and this is an important factor in making judgments concerning degrees of individual responsibility and blameworthiness for harm caused by the group. Remedial responsibility, as we have seen, is attached to a particular project.
My point is that such judgments assessed on members of the collectivity do not follow necessarily from judgments of collective blame French 1998, p. As a social practice, as well as an important theoretical issue, moral responsibility has most often been understood in the context of relationships among friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members. Bill Wringe takes such an analysis to the global level Wringe 2014 , as do many others in the field of global justice, including David Miller 2007. For example, when communities develop response plans for predictable disasters, such as earthquakes in high risk areas, they often assume that individuals must initially pick up the slack, at least until a more effective collective response can be made. We discuss these and other consequences more fully in Section 6.
Reiff argues that when we internalize claims of collective responsibility, we may come to feel more responsibility—or responsibility for more things—than we used to feel. Decisions and actions that an organization produces can be checked for their consistency with established group policies by referring to formal policy statements, to the informal features of organizational culture, and to past decisions. Questions involving the moral responsibility of groups qua groups have focused on large public bureaucracies, but business corporations have received most of the attention. And finally, due to the nature of their decision making function, organizations can be plausibly seen as intentional systems endowed with organizational intelligence Dan-Cohen 1986, pp. Yet while tried and tested conventions are essential to the long-term resilience and effectiveness of government, they can — to a limited degree — be stretched, reshaped and put aside when the issues of the day demand it.
Climate change shows up countless weaknesses in our current institutional architecture. For most purposes, Dan-Cohen finds it advantageous overall to view organizations from a holistic perspective. Though there is some truth to this claim, it should be noted that most political actors have acted as if the role did belong to them and they were competent to discharge it, rather than for example declaring to their constituencies that the topic was outside of their purview, or advocating for fundamentally new or different institutions. I then briefly defended this proposal, in part by rejecting three initial objections, that the proposal is an overt call for heavily centralized world government, that it is inherently undemocratic, and that it is unfeasible. The controversies surrounding forward looking collective responsibility have to do with both the role of agent causation in ascribing responsibility for remedying harm in the world and the norms and principles that may—or may not—be appropriate to invoke in this context.