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  1. Group agency: the possibility, design, and status of corporate agents.Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Philip Pettit.
    Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individuals that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should explain the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treat them as responsible and accountable on the model of individual agents. Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, to a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. (...)
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  • Culpability and Ignorance.Gideon Rosen - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (1):61-84.
    When a person acts from ignorance, he is culpable for his action only if he is culpable for the ignorance from which he acts. The paper defends the view that this principle holds, not just for actions done from ordinary factual ignorance, but also for actions done from moral ignorance. The question is raised whether the principle extends to action done from ignorance about what one has most reason to do. It is tentatively proposed that the principle holds in full (...)
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  • Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
    In 1972, the young philosopher Peter Singer published "Famine, Affluence and Morality," which rapidly became one of the most widely discussed essays in applied ethics. Through this article, Singer presents his view that we have the same moral obligations to those far away as we do to those close to us. He argued that choosing not to send life-saving money to starving people on the other side of the earth is the moral equivalent of neglecting to save drowning children because (...)
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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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  • Rationality and the Unit of Action.Christopher Woodard - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):261-277.
    This paper examines the idea of an extended unit of action, which is the idea that the reasons for or against an individual action can depend on the qualities of a larger pattern of action of which it is a part. One concept of joint action is that the unit of action can be extended in this sense. But the idea of an extended unit of action is surprisingly minimal in its commitments. The paper argues for this conclusion by examining (...)
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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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  • Getting Our Act Together: A Theory of Collective Moral Obligations.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2021 - New York; London: Routledge.
    WINNER BEST SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY BOOK IN 2021 / NASSP BOOK AWARD 2022 -/- Together we can often achieve things that are impossible to do on our own. We can prevent something bad from happening or we can produce something good, even if none of us could do it by herself. But when are we morally required to do something of moral importance together with others? This book develops an original theory of collective moral obligations. These are obligations that individual moral (...)
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  • Shared Intentions, Loose Groups and Pooled Knowledge.Olivier Roy & Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2019 - Synthese (5):4523-4541.
    We study shared intentions in what we call “loose groups”. These are groups that lack a codified organizational structure, and where the communication channels between group members are either unreliable or not completely open. We start by formulating two desiderata for shared intentions in such groups. We then argue that no existing account meets these two desiderata, because they assume either too strong or too weak an epistemic condition, that is, a condition on what the group members know and believe (...)
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  • Ignorance: (On the Wider Implications of Deficient Knowledge).Nicholas Rescher - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
    Historically, there has been great deliberation about the limits of human knowledge. Isaac Newton, recognizing his own shortcomings, once described himself as “a boy standing on the seashore... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all underscored before me.” In _Ignorance,_ Nicholas Rescher presents a broad-ranging study that examines the manifestations, consequences, and occasional benefits of ignorance in areas of philosophy, scientific endeavor, and ordinary life. Citing philosophers, theologians, and scientists from Socrates to Steven Hawking, Rescher seeks to uncover the (...)
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  • Groups as Agents.Deborah Tollefsen - 2015 - Malden, MA: Polity.
    In the social sciences and in everyday speech we often talk about groups as if they behaved in the same way as individuals, thinking and acting as a singular being. We say for example that "Google intends to develop an automated car", "the U.S. Government believes that Syria has used chemical weapons on its people", or that "the NRA wants to protect the rights of gun owners". We also often ascribe legal and moral responsibility to groups. But could groups literally (...)
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  • Famine, affluence, and morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
    As I write this, in November 1971, people are dying in East Bengal from lack of food, shelter, and medical caxc. The suffering and death that are occurring there now axe not inevitable, 1101; unavoidable in any fatalistic sense of the term. Constant poverty, a cyclone, and a civil war have turned at least nine million people into destitute refugees; nevertheless, it is not beyond Lhe capacity of the richer nations to give enough assistance to reduce any further suffering to (...)
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  • Collective Omissions and Responsibility.Björn Petersson - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (2):243-261.
    Sometimes it seems intuitively plausible to hold loosely structured sets of individuals morally responsible for failing to act collectively. Virginia Held, Larry May, and Torbj rn T nnsj have all drawn this conclusion from thought experiments concerning small groups, although they apply the conclusion to large-scale omissions as well. On the other hand it is commonly assumed that (collective) agency is a necessary condition for (collective) responsibility. If that is true, then how can we hold sets of people responsible for (...)
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  • What Ignorance Really Is. Examining the Foundations of Epistemology of Ignorance.Nadja El Kassar - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (5):300-310.
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  • Understanding ignorance: the surprising impact of what we don't know.Daniel R. DeNicola - 2017 - Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
    Ignorance is trending. Politicians boast, "I'm not a scientist." Angry citizens object to a proposed state motto because it is in Latin, and "This is America, not Mexico or Latin America." Lack of experience, not expertise, becomes a credential. Fake news and repeated falsehoods are accepted and shape firm belief. Ignorance about American government and history is so alarming that the ideal of an informed citizenry now seems quaint. Conspiracy theories and false knowledge thrive. This may be the Information Age, (...)
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  • Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice.Kendy Hess, Violetta Igneski & Tracy Lynn Isaacs (eds.) - 2018 - Nw York: Rowman & Littlefield International.
    This volume explores new and urgent applications of collective action theory, such as global poverty, the race and class politics of urban geography, and culpable conduct in organizational criminal law. It draws attention to new questions about the status of corporate agents and new approaches to collective obligation and responsibility.
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  • To the Best of Our Knowledge: Social Expectations and Epistemic Normativity.Sanford Goldberg (ed.) - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Sandford C. Goldberg puts forward a theory of epistemic normativity that is grounded in the things we properly expect of one another as epistemic subjects. This theory has far-reaching implications not only for the theory of epistemic normativity, but also for the nature of epistemic assessment itself.
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  • Skepticism about moral responsibility.Gideon Rosen - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):295–313.
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  • Pluralistic ignorance in the bystander effect: informational dynamics of unresponsive witnesses in situations calling for intervention.Rasmus Kraemmer Rendsvig - 2014 - Synthese 191 (11):2471-2498.
    The goal of the present paper is to construct a formal explication of the pluralistic ignorance explanation of the bystander effect. The social dynamics leading to inaction is presented, decomposed, and modeled using dynamic epistemic logic augmented with ‘transition rules’ able to characterize agent behavior. Three agent types are defined: First Responders who intervene given belief of accident; City Dwellers, capturing ‘apathetic urban residents’ and Hesitators, who observe others when in doubt, basing subsequent decision on social proof. It is shown (...)
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  • Collective ignorance: an information theoretic account.Christopher Ranalli & René van Woudenberg - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4731-4750.
    We are ignorant knowers. This paper proposes an information theoretic explanation of that fact. The explanation is a conjunction of three claims. First, that even in those dimensions where we are capable of picking up information, there is information that we don’t pick up. Second, that there can be dimensions of information for which we lack the capacity to pick up any information whatsoever. Third, that we don’t know whether the faculties and cognitive capacities we are endowed with process all (...)
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  • What We Together Can (Be Required to) Do.Felix Pinkert - 2014 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):187-202.
    In moral and political philosophy, collective obligations are promising “gap-stoppers” when we find that we need to assert some obligation, but can not plausibly ascribe this obligation to individual agents. Most notably, Bill Wringe and Jesse Tomalty discuss whether the obligations that correspond to socio-economic human rights are held by states or even by humankind at large. The present paper aims to provide a missing piece for these discussions, namely an account of the conditions under which obligations can apply to (...)
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  • The New View on Ignorance Undefeated.Rik Peels - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):741-750.
    In this paper, I provide a defence of the New View, on which ignorance is lack of true belief rather than lack of knowledge. Pierre Le Morvan has argued that the New View is untenable, partly because it fails to take into account the distinction between propositional and factive ignorance. I argue that propositional ignorance is just a subspecies of factive ignorance and that all the work that needs to be done can be done by using the concept of factive (...)
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  • Norms in the Wild: How to Diagnose, Measure, and Change Social Norms.Cristina Bicchieri - 2016 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
    In Norms in the Wild, distinguished philosopher Cristina Bicchieri argues that when it comes to human behavior, social scientists place too much stress on rational deliberation. In fact, she says, many choices occur without much deliberation at all. Two people passing in a corridor automatically negotiate their shared space; cars at an intersection obey traffic signals; we choose clothing based on our instincts for what is considered appropriate. Bicchieri's theory of social norms accounts for these automatic components of coordination, where (...)
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  • Shared Epistemic Responsibility.Boyd Millar - 2021 - Episteme 18 (4):493-506.
    It is widely acknowledged that individual moral obligations and responsibility entail shared (or joint) moral obligations and responsibility. However, whether individual epistemic obligations and responsibility entail shared epistemic obligations and responsibility is rarely discussed. Instead, most discussions of doxastic responsibility focus on individuals considered in isolation. In contrast to this standard approach, I maintain that focusing exclusively on individuals in isolation leads to a profoundly incomplete picture of what we're epistemically obligated to do and when we deserve epistemic blame. First, (...)
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  • Reasonable foreseeability and blameless ignorance.Daniel J. Miller - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1561-1581.
    This paper draws attention to a fundamental problem for a version of the tracing strategy defended by a number of theorists in the current literature (Rosen 2004, Fischer and Tognazzini 2009). I argue that versions of the tracing strategy that require reasonable foreseeability are in tension with the view that blameless ignorance excuses. A stronger version of the tracing strategy is consistent with the view that blameless ignorance excuses and is therefore preferable for those tracing theorists who wish to continue (...)
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  • Unifying Group Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:517-544.
    Various social epistemologists employ what seem to be rather distinct notions of group rationality. In this essay, I offer an account of group rationality that is able to unify the dominant notions present in the literature under a single framework. I argue that if we employ a teleological account of epistemic rationality, and then allow that there are many different epistemic goals that are worth pursuing for various groups and individuals, we can then see how those seemingly divergent understandings of (...)
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  • On Ignorance: A Reply to Peels.Pierre LeMorvan - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (2):335-344.
    Rik Peels has ingeniously argued that ignorance is not equivalent to the lack or absence of knowledge. In this response, I defend the Standard View of Ignorance according to which they are equivalent. In the course of doing so, some important lessons will emerge concerning the nature of ignorance and its relationship to knowledge.
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  • The Duty to Object.Jennifer Lackey - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (1):35-60.
    We have the duty to object to things that people say. If you report something that I take to be false, unwarranted, or harmful, I may be required to say as much. In this paper, I explore how to best understand the distinctively epistemic dimension of this duty. I begin by highlighting two central features of this duty that distinguish it from others, such as believing in accordance with the evidence or promise‐keeping. In particular, I argue that whether we are (...)
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  • Can a random collection of individuals be morally responsible?Virginia Held - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (14):471-481.
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  • Why we do things together: The social motivation for joint action.Marion Godman - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):588-603.
    Joint action is a growing field of research, spanning across the cognitive, behavioral, and brain sciences as well as receiving considerable attention amongst philosophers. I argue that there has been a significant oversight within this field concerning the possibility that many joint actions are driven, at least in part, by agents' social motivations rather than merely by their shared intentions. Social motivations are not directly related to the (joint) target goal of the action. Instead, when agents are mutually socially motivated (...)
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  • Collective epistemology.Margaret Gilbert - 2004 - Episteme 1 (2):95--107.
    This paper introduces the author's approach to everyday ascriptions of collective cognitive states as in such statements as we believe he is lying. Collective epistemology deals with these ascriptions attempting to understand them and the phenomena in question.
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  • Moral Responsibility, Culpable Ignorance and Suppressed Disagreement.Katherine Furman - 2018 - Social Epistemology 32 (5):287-299.
    Ignorance can excuse otherwise blameworthy action, but only if the ignorance itself is blameless. One way to avoid culpable ignorance is to pay attention when epistemic peers disagree. Expressed disagreements place an obligation on the agent to pay attention when an interlocutor disagrees, or risk culpable ignorance for which they might later be found blameworthy. Silence, on the other hand, is typically taken as assent. But in cases of suppressed disagreement, the silenced interlocutor has information that could save the agent (...)
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  • Responsibility for Collective Inaction and the Knowledge Condition.Michael D. Doan - 2016 - Social Epistemology 30 (5-6):532-554.
    When confronted with especially complex ecological and social problems such as climate change, how are we to think about responsibility for collective inaction? Social and political philosophers have begun to consider the complexities of acting collectively with a view to creating more just and sustainable societies. Some have recently turned their attention to the question of whether more or less formally organized groups can ever be held morally responsible for not acting collectively, or else for not organizing themselves into groups (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility: Five Decades of Debate in Theoretical and Applied Ethics.Larry May & Stacey Hoffman (eds.) - 1991 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    This anthology presents recent philosophical analyses of the moral, political, and legal responsibility of groups and their members. Motivated by reflection on such events as the Holocaust, the exploding Ford Pintos, the May Lai massacre, and apartheid in South Africa, the essays consider two questions - what collective efforts could have prevented these large-scale social harms? and is some group to blame and, if so, how is blame to be apportioned? The essays in the first half consider the concept of (...)
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  • Shared Agency: A Planning Theory of Acting Together.Michael Bratman - 2014 - New York, NY: Oup Usa.
    Human beings act together in characteristic ways that matter to us a great deal. This book explores the conceptual, metaphysical and normative foundations of such sociality. It argues that appeal to the planning structures involved in our individual, temporally extended agency provides substantial resources for understanding these foundations of our sociality.
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  • Moral responsibility in collective contexts.Tracy Isaacs - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Intentional collective action -- Collective moral responsibility -- Collective guilt -- Individual responsibility for (and in) collective wrongs -- Collective obligation, individual obligation, and individual moral responsibility -- Individual moral responsibility in wrongful social practice.
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  • Culpable ignorance in a collective setting.Säde Hormio - 2018 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 94:7-34.
    This paper explores types of organisational ignorance and ways in which organisational practices can affect the knowledge we have about the causes and effects of our actions. I will argue that because knowledge and information are not evenly distributed within an organisation, sometimes organisational design alone can create individual ignorance. I will also show that sometimes the act that creates conditions for culpable ignorance takes place at the collective level. This suggests that quality of will of an agent is not (...)
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