Collective moral obligations: ‘we-reasoning’ and the perspective of the deliberating agent

The Monist 102 (2):151-171 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
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 the moral deliberating agent who faces a collective action problem, i.e. the type of reasoning she employs when deciding how to act. I hope to show that agents have collective obligations precisely when they are required to employ ‘we-reasoning’, a type of reasoning that differs from I-mode, best response reasoning, as I shall explain below. More precisely, two (or more) individual agents have a collective moral obligation to do x if x is an option for action that is only collectively available (more on that later) and each has sufficient reason to rank x highest out of the options available to them.
Reprint years
2019
PhilPapers/Archive ID
SCHCMO-9
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-11-20
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-10-18

Total views
46 ( #30,584 of 39,064 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
45 ( #9,607 of 39,064 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.