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What 'we'?

Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2):225-250 (2015)

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  1. Profiting From Poverty.Ole Koksvik & Gerhard Øverland - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):341-367.
    ABSTRACTWe consider whether and under what conditions it is morally illicit to profit from poverty. We argue that when profit counterfactually depends on poverty, the agent making the profit is morally obliged to relinquish it. Finally, we argue that the people to whom the profit should be redirected are those on whom it counterfactually depends.
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  • Collective Culpable Ignorance.Niels de Haan - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):99-108.
    I argue that culpable ignorance can be irreducibly collective. In some cases, it is not fair to expect any individual to have avoided her ignorance of some fact, but it is fair to expect the agents together to have avoided their ignorance of that fact. Hence, no agent is individually culpable for her ignorance, but they are culpable for their ignorance together. This provides us with good reason to think that any group that is culpably ignorant in this irreducibly collective (...)
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  • The Problem of Insignificant Hands.Frank Hindriks - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-26.
    Many morally significant outcomes can be brought about only if several individuals contribute to them. However, individual contributions to collective outcomes often fail to have morally significant effects on their own. Some have concluded from this that it is permissible to do nothing. What I call ‘the problem of insignificant hands’ is the challenge of determining whether and when people are obligated to contribute. For this to be the case, I argue, the prospect of helping to bring about the outcome (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility Gaps.Stephanie Collins - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4):943-954.
    Which kinds of responsibility can we attribute to which kinds of collective, and why? In contrast, which kinds of collective responsibility can we not attribute—which kinds are ‘gappy’? This study provides a framework for answering these questions. It begins by distinguishing between three kinds of collective and three kinds of responsibility. It then explains how gaps—i.e. cases where we cannot attribute the responsibility we might want to—appear to arise within each type of collective responsibility. It argues some of these gaps (...)
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  • Does Purchasing Make Consumers Complicit in Global Labour Injustice?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (3):319-338.
    Do consumers’ ordinary actions of purchasing certain goods make them complicit in global labour injustice? To establish that they do, two things much be shown. First, it must be established that they are not more than complicit, for example that they are not the principal perpetrators. Second, it must be established that they meet the conditions for complicity on a plausible account. I argue that Kutz’s account faces an objection that makes Lepora and Goodin’s better suited, and defend the idea (...)
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  • Difference-Making and Individuals' Climate-Related Obligations.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - In Clare Hayward & Dominic Roser (eds.), Climate Justice in a Non-Ideal World. pp. 64-82.
    Climate change appears to be a classic aggregation problem, in which billions of individuals perform actions none of which seem to be morally wrong taken in isolation, and yet which combine to drive the global concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) ever higher toward environmental (and humanitarian) catastrophe. When an individual can choose between actions that will emit differing amounts of GHGs―such as to choose a vegan rather than carnivorous meal, to ride a bike to work rather than drive a car, (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility and Collective Obligations Without Collective Moral Agents.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Saba Bazargan-Forward & Deborah Tollefsen (eds.), Handbook of Collective Responsibility. Routledge.
    It is commonplace to attribute obligations to φ or blameworthiness for φ-ing to groups even when no member has an obligation to φ or is individually blameworthy for not φ-ing. Such non-distributive attributions can seem problematic in cases where the group is not a moral agent in its own right. In response, it has been argued both that non-agential groups can have the capabilities requisite to have obligations of their own, and that group obligations can be understood in terms of (...)
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  • On Individual and Shared Obligations: In Defense of the Activist’s Perspective.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Mark Budolfson, Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press.
    We naturally attribute obligations to groups, and take such obligations to have consequences for the obligations of group members. The threat posed by anthropogenic climate change provides an urgent case. It seems that we, together, have an obligation to prevent climate catastrophe, and that we, as individuals, have an obligation to contribute. However, understood strictly, attributions of obligations to groups might seem illegitimate. On the one hand, the groups in question—the people alive today, say—are rarely fully-fledged moral agents, making it (...)
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  • Interconnected Blameworthiness.Stephanie Collins & Niels de Haan - 2021 - The Monist 104 (2):195-209.
    This paper investigates agents’ blameworthiness when they are part of a group that does harm. We analyse three factors that affect the scope of an agent’s blameworthiness in these cases: shared intentionality, interpersonal influence, and common knowledge. Each factor involves circumstantial luck. The more each factor is present, the greater is the scope of each agent’s vicarious blameworthiness for the other agents’ contributions to the harm. We then consider an agent’s degree of blameworthiness, as distinct from her scope of blameworthiness. (...)
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  • Group Motivation.Jessica Brown - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • The Possibility of Collective Moral Obligations.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2020 - In The Routledge Handbook on Collective Responsibility. New York: pp. 258-273.
    Our moral obligations can sometimes be collective in nature: They can jointly attach to two or more agents in that neither agent has that obligation on their own, but they – in some sense – share it or have it in common. In order for two or more agents to jointly hold an obligation to address some joint necessity problem they must have joint ability to address that problem. Joint ability is highly context-dependent and particularly sensitive to shared (or even (...)
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  • Responsibility for States' Actions: Normative Issues at the Intersection of Collective Agency and State Responsibility.Holly Lawford-Smith & Stephanie Collins - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (11):e12456.
    Is the state a collective agent? Are citizens responsible for what their states do? If not citizens, then who, if anyone, is responsible for what the state does? Many different sub-disciplines of philosophy are relevant for answering these questions. We need to know what “the state” is, who or what it's composed of, and what relation the parts stand in to the whole. Once we know what it is, we need to know whether that thing is an agent, in particular (...)
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  • The Duty to Join Forces: When Individuals Lack Control.Frank Hindriks - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):204-220.
    Some harms are such that they cannot be prevented by a single individual because she lacks the requisite control. Because of this, no individual has the obligation to do so. It may be, however, that the harm can be prevented when several individuals combine their efforts. I argue that in many such situations each individual has a duty to join forces: to approach others, convince them to contribute, and subsequently make a coordinated effort to prevent the harm. A distinctive feature (...)
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  • Three Conceptions of Group-Based Reasons.Christopher Woodard - 2017 - Journal of Social Ontology 3 (1):102-127.
    Group-based reasons are reasons to play one’s part in some pattern of action that the members of some group could perform, because of the good features of the pattern. This paper discusses three broad conceptions of such reasons. According to the agency-first conception, there are no group-based reasons in cases where the relevant group is not or would not be itself an agent. According to the behaviour-first conception, what matters is that the other members of the group would play their (...)
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  • The Pervasive Structure of Society.Tim Syme - 2017 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 44 (8):888-924.
    What does it mean to say that the demands of justice are institutional rather than individual? Justice is often thought to be directly concerned only with governmental institutions rather than individuals’ everyday, legally permissible actions. This approach has been criticized for ignoring the relevance to justice of informal social norms. This paper defends the idea that justice is distinctively institutional but rejects the primacy of governmental institutions. I argue that the ‘pervasive structure of society’ is the site of justice and (...)
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  • The Universal Scope of Positive Duties Correlative to Human Rights.Marinella Capriati - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (3):355-378.
    Negative duties are duties not to perform an action, while positive duties are duties to perform an action. This article focuses on the question of who holds the positive duties correlative to human rights. I start by outlining the Universal Scope Thesis, which holds that these duties fall on everyone. In its support, I present an argument by analogy: positive and negative duties correlative to human rights perform the same function; correlative negative duties are generally thought to be universal; by (...)
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  • Online Public Shaming: Virtues and Vices.Paul Billingham & Tom Parr - 2020 - Journal of Social Philosophy 51 (3):371-390.
    We are witnessing increasing use of the Internet, particular social media, to criticize (perceived or actual) moral failings and misdemeanors. This phenomenon of so-called ‘online public shaming’ could provide a powerful tool for reinforcing valuable social norms. But it also threatens unwarranted and severe punishments meted out by online mobs. This paper analyses the dangers associated with the informal enforcement of norms, drawing on Locke, but also highlights its promise, drawing on recent discussions of social norms. We then consider two (...)
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  • The Claims and Duties of Socioeconomic Human Rights.Stephanie Collins - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):701-722.
    A standard objection to socioeconomic human rights is that they are not claimable as human rights: their correlative duties are not owed to each human, independently of specific institutional arrangements, in an enforceable manner. I consider recent responses to this ‘claimability objection,’ and argue that none succeeds. There are no human rights to socioeconomic goods. But all is not lost: there are, I suggest, human rights to ‘socioeconomic consideration’. I propose a detailed structure for these rights and their correlative duties, (...)
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  • Collective Moral Obligations: ‘We-Reasoning’ and the Perspective of the Deliberating Agent.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):151-171.
    Together we can achieve things that we could never do on our own. In fact, there are sheer endless opportunities for producing morally desirable outcomes together with others. Unsurprisingly, scholars have been finding the idea of collective moral obligations intriguing. Yet, there is little agreement among scholars on the nature of such obligations and on the extent to which their existence might force us to adjust existing theories of moral obligation. What interests me in this paper is the perspective of (...)
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  • Oorganiserade kollektiv kan handla.Simon Rosenqvist - 2018 - Tidskrift För Politisk Filosofi 22 (2):61-68.
    Jag argumenterar för att oorganiserade kollektiv, såsom kollektivet av alla människor, kan handla moraliskt rätt och fel. Storskaliga problem likt den globala uppvärmningen är till exempel resultatet av en sådan kollektiv handling, nämligen hela mänsklighetens utsläpp av växthusgaser. Denna kollektiva handling är dessutom moraliskt fel, på grund av dess dåliga konsekvenser. Jag bemöter också en invändning mot denna uppfattning om kollektivt handlande, enligt vilken det är intuitivt orimligt att oorganiserade kollektiv såsom ”hela mänskligheten” kan handla.
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  • Global obligations, collective capacities, and ‘ought implies can’.Bill Wringe - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1523-1538.
    It is sometimes argued that non-agent collectives, including what one might call the ‘global collective’ consisting of the world’s population taken as a whole, cannot be the bearers of non-distributive moral obligations on pain of violating the principle that ‘ought implies can’. I argue that one prominent line of argument for this conclusion fails because it illicitly relies on a formulation of the ‘ought implies can’ principle which is inapt for contexts which allow for the possibility of non-distributive plural predications (...)
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  • Individuelle Verantwortung für globale strukturelle Ungerechtigkeiten: Eine machttheoretische Konzeption.Tamara Jugov - 2017 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 4 (1):151-182.
    Der Beitrag entwickelt ein neues, machtbasiertes Verantwortungsmodell für die individuelle Verstrickung in globale strukturelle Ungerechtigkeiten. Er geht von dem Problem aus, dass die meisten Bedingungen für die Zuerkennung moralischer Haftbarkeitsverantwortung in Fällen der individuellen Verstrickung in globale strukturelle Übel nicht erfüllt sind: Wenn eine Person beispielsweise ein unter ausbeuterischen Bedingungen produziertes T-Shirt kauft, so ist diese Handlung für das Eintreten der strukturellen Ungerechtigkeit weder hinreichend noch notwendig, die Person hat die strukturell ungerechten Eff ekte ihrer Handlung häufi g nicht intendiert (...)
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  • Kollektivierungspflichten und ethischer Konsum.Henning Hahn - 2017 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 4 (1):183-210.
    In diesem Aufsatz geht es mir darum, einen verantwortungsethischen Ansatz in der Konsumentenethik zu entwickeln, der jüngste Debatten zu Kollektivierungs- und Institutionalisierungspflichten zusammenführt. Erstens werde ich dafür argumentieren, dass die Zuschreibungskriterien für individuelle Kollektivierungspflichten, die am Beispiel kleinformatiger unstrukturierter Gruppen entwickelt werden, auch von großräumigen Gruppen erfüllt werden. Daher vertrete ich zweitens die These, dass jeder Einzelperson qua Mitwirkende in der,Gruppe‘ aller Konsumierenden eine je individuelle Pflicht zugeschrieben werden kann, gemeinsame Handlungen gegen ausbeuterische Marktstrukturen zu organisieren. Drittens und ausblickend werde (...)
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  • Understanding Complicity: Memory, Hope and the Imagination.Mihaela Mihai - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (5):504-522.
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  • Are ‘the Affluent’ Responsible for Global Poverty?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (1):61-67.
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  • Enforcing the Global Economic Order, Violating the Rights of the Poor, and Breaching Negative Duties? Pogge, Collective Agency, and Global Poverty.Bill Wringe - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (2):334-370.
    Thomas Pogge has argued, famously, that ‘we’ are violating the rights of the global poor insofar as we uphold an unjust international order which provides a legal and economic framework within which individuals and groups can and do deprive such individuals of their lives, liberty and property. I argue here that Pogge’s claim that we are violating a negative duty can only be made good on the basis of a substantive theory of collective action; and that it can only provide (...)
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