Collective Agency: Moral and Amoral

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Abstract

Proponents of corporate moral responsibility have provided a number of accounts of moral collective agency. But these accounts do not shed light on how a collective agent might fail to be a moral agent. I explain the difference between moral and amoral collective agents in terms of the notion of a normative perspective. I argue that, in order for a collective agent to be a moral agent, it has to have a normative perspective that is suitably supported by its members. I develop this idea both from a rationalist and from a sentimentalist point of view. According to the rationalist proposal, the members have to collective accept the normative perspective. The sentimentalist proposal also requires that it be suitably supported by collective member emotions. These simulate the epistemic and volitional roles that genuine corporate emotions would play. The upshot is that an amoral collective agent either lacks a normative perspective altogether, or that its normative perspective is not suitably supported by its members.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)3-23
Number of pages21
JournalDialectica
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • RESPONSIBILITY
  • CONSCIOUSNESS

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