Directed Duty, Practical Intimacy, and Legal Wronging

In Teresa Marques & Chiara Valentini (eds.), Collective Action, Philosophy, and the Law. New York: Routledge. pp. 152-174 (2022)
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What is it for a duty or obligation to be directed? Thinking about paradigmatic cases such as the obligations generated by promises will take us only so far in answering this question. This paper starts by surveying several approaches for understanding directed duties, as well as the challenges they face. It turns out that shared agency features something similar to the directedness of duties. This suggests an account of directedness in terms of shared agency – specifically, in terms of the so-called practical intimacy that holds between individuals when they act together. The final section addresses a challenge to the shared agency approach posed by legal wronging in tort law.

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Abe (Abraham) Roth
Ohio State University


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