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  1. The Epistemology of Group Duties: What We Know and What We Ought to Do.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2020 - Journal of Social Ontology (1):91-100.
    In Group Duties, Stephanie Collins proposes a ‘tripartite’ social ontology of groups as obligation-bearers. Producing a unified theory of group obligations that reflects our messy social reality is challenging and this ‘three-sizes-fit-all’ approach promises clarity but does not always keep that promise. I suggest considering the epistemic level as primary in determining collective obligations, allowing for more fluidity than the proposed tripartite ontology of collectives, coalitions and combinations.
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  • Collective inaction, omission, and non-action: when not acting is indeed on ‘us’.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-19.
    The statement that we are currently failing to address some of humanity’s greatest challenges seems uncontroversial—we are not doing enough to limit global warming to a maximum of 2 °C and we are exposing vulnerable people to preventable diseases when failing to produce herd immunity. But what singles out such failings from all the things we did not do when all are unintended? Unlike their individualist counterparts, collective inaction and omission have not yet received much attention in the literature. collective (...)
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  • Abilities and Obligations: Lessons from Non-agentive Groups.Stephanie Collins - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    Philosophers often talk as though each ability is held by exactly one agent. This paper begins by arguing that abilities can be held by groups of agents, where the group is not an agent. I provide a new argument for—and a new analysis of—non-agentive groups’ abilities. I then provide a new argument that, surprisingly, obligations are different: non-agentive groups cannot bear obligations, at least not if those groups are large-scale such as ‘humanity’ or ‘carbon emitters.’ This pair of conclusions is (...)
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  • How We Fail to Know: Group-Based Ignorance and Collective Epistemic Obligations.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2022 - Political Studies 70 (4):901-918.
    Humans are prone to producing morally suboptimal and even disastrous outcomes out of ignorance. Ignorance is generally thought to excuse agents from wrongdoing, but little attention has been paid to group-based ignorance as the reason for some of our collective failings. I distinguish between different types of first-order and higher order group-based ignorance and examine how these can variously lead to problematic inaction. I will make two suggestions regarding our epistemic obligations vis-a-vis collective (in)action problems: (1) that our epistemic obligations (...)
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  • Team Reasoning and Collective Moral Obligation.Olle Blomberg & Björn Petersson - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
    We propose a new account of collective moral obligation. We argue that several agents have a moral obligation together only if they each have (i) a context-specific capacity to view their situation from the group’s perspective, and (ii) at least a general capacity to deliberate about what they ought to do together. Such an obligation is irreducibly collective, in that it doesn’t imply that the individuals have any obligations to contribute to what is required of the group. We highlight various (...)
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