Joint responsibility without individual control: Applying the Explanation Hypothesis

In Jeroen van den Hoven, Ibo van de Poel & Nicole Vincent (eds.), Moral Responsibility: beyond free will and determinism. Springer (2011)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This paper introduces a new family of cases where agents are jointly morally responsible for outcomes over which they have no individual control, a family that resists standard ways of understanding outcome responsibility. First, the agents in these cases do not individually facilitate the outcomes and would not seem individually responsible for them if the other agents were replaced by non-agential causes. This undermines attempts to understand joint responsibility as overlapping individual responsibility; the responsibility in question is essentially joint. Second, the agents involved in these cases are not aware of each other's existence and do not form a social group. This undermines attempts to understand joint responsibility in terms of actual or possible joint action or joint intentions, or in terms of other social ties. Instead, it is argued that intuitions about joint responsibility are best understood given the Explanation Hypothesis, according to which a group of agents are seen as jointly responsible for outcomes that are suitably explained by their motivational structures: something bad happened because they didn’t care enough; something good happened because their dedication was extraordinary. One important consequence of the proposed account is that responsibility for outcomes of collective action is a deeply normative matter.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BJRJRW
Upload history
Archival date: 2015-04-06
View other versions
Added to PP index
2010-06-23

Total views
439 ( #12,025 of 57,103 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
55 ( #13,152 of 57,103 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.