Jun 29, 2010
Philosophical Phun - Collective Responsibility :o)
Methodological individualists challenge the very possibility of associating moral agency with groups, as distinct from their individual members, and normative individualists argue that collective responsibility violates principles of both individual responsibility and fairness. Defenders of collective responsibility take their cue from these critical arguments and set out to show that collective responsibility—as well as group intentions, collective action, and group blameworthiness—are coherent as a constructs and can be ascribed to agents fairly in at least some, if not all, cases.
Do groups have to meet the same stringent conditions of moral responsibility that individuals do? (Intentionality becomes key here.) What are the advantageous and disadvantageous of holding particular kinds of groups, e.g., nation states, races, and ethnic groups, morally responsible in practice?
I find that groups often hide behind their collectiveness, and discount perceptions and actions at the fringes as anomalies, and outside the "intention" of their group. I say that if they are affiliated, they are representative, and it is up to the group to reign them in. What are your thoughts?