The irreducibility of collective obligations

Allard Tamminga*, Frank Hindriks

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

2 Citaten (Scopus)
92 Downloads (Pure)


Individualists claim that collective obligations are reducible to the individual obligations of the collective's members. Collectivists deny this. We set out to discover who is right by way of a deontic logic of collective action that models collective actions, abilities, obligations, and their interrelations. On the basis of our formal analysis, we argue that when assessing the obligations of an individual agent, we need to distinguish individual obligations from member obligations. If a collective has a collective obligation to bring about a particular state of affairs, then it might be that no individual in the collective has an individual obligation to bring about that state of affairs. What follows from a collective obligation is that each member of the collective has a member obligation to help ensure that the collective fulfills its collective obligation. In conclusion, we argue that our formal analysis supports collectivism.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1085–1109
Aantal pagina's25
TijdschriftPhilosophical Studies
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
Vroegere onlinedatum12-jan-2019
StatusPublished - 2020

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