Category Archives: Deontology and Moral Responsibility

Cass Sunstein, ‘Manipulation As Theft’

ABSTRACT Should there be a right not to be manipulated? What kind of right? On Kantian grounds, manipulation, lies, and paternalistic coercion are moral wrongs, and for similar reasons; they deprive people of agency, insult their dignity, and fail to respect personal autonomy. On welfarist grounds, manipulation, lies, and paternalistic coercion share a different characteristic; […]

Dari‐Mattiacci and Fabbri, ‘How Institutions Shape Morality’

ABSTRACT We present the results of a randomized control trial on the effect of the introduction of formalized property rights on individuals’ moral judgments and, in particular, on utilitarian morality. We show that institutions shape morality: being exposed to private property institutions makes individuals more utilitarian when confronted with moral dilemmas. Our results shed light […]

Justin Sytsma, ‘The Responsibility Account’

ABSTRACT There is now a great deal of evidence that norm violations impact people’s causal judgments. But it remains contentious how best to explain these findings. This includes that the primary explanations on offer differ with regard to how broad they take the phenomenon to be. In this chapter, I detail how the explanations diverge […]

Duus-Otterström and Page, ‘Why victims of unjust harm should take priority over victims of bad luck’

ABSTRACT It is sometimes suggested that victims of unjust harm should take priority over victims of other forms of harm. We explore four arguments for this view: that victims of unjust harm experience greater suffering; that prioritizing victims of unjust harm would help prevent unjust harm in the future; that it is good for perpetrators […]

Floridi and Sanders, ‘On the Morality of Artificial Agents’

ABSTRACT Artificial agents (AAs), particularly but not only those in Cyberspace, extend the class of entities that can be involved in moral situations. For they can be conceived of as moral patients (as entities that can be acted upon for good or evil) and also as moral agents (as entities that can perform actions, again […]

Ned Dobos, ‘Are strikes extortionate?’

ABSTRACT Workers who go on strike are sometimes accused of holding their employer ‘to ransom’, the implication being that strike action is a kind of extortion. The paper provides an analytical reconstruction of this objection, before presenting and interrogating different strategies for countering it. The first says that work-stoppages can only be extortionate if they […]

Sigurd Lindstad, ‘Benefiting from Wrongdoing and Moral Protest’

ABSTRACT Some normative theorists believe that there is a principled moral reason not to retain benefits realized by injustice or wrongdoing. However, critics have argued that this idea is implausible. One purported problem is that the idea lacks an obvious rationale and that attempts to provide one have been unconvincing. This paper articulates and defends […]

Steven Norris, ‘The social ontology of promising’

ABSTRACT This paper takes an ontological approach to the subject of promising. Setting aside the typical concern over promissory obligations, I draw on recent work from the field of social ontology and develop a promissory schema that characterizes the functional role the practice of promising plays in our lives. This schema, put in terms of […]

Luciano Floridi, ‘Distributed Morality in an Information Society’

ABSTRACT The phenomenon of distributed knowledge is well-known in epistemic logic. In this paper, a similar phenomenon in ethics, somewhat neglected so far, is investigated, namely distributed morality. The article explains the nature of distributed morality, as a feature of moral agency, and explores the implications of its occurrence in advanced information societies. In the […]

Luciano Floridi, ‘Faultless Responsibility: On the Nature and Allocation of Moral Responsibility for Distributed Moral Actions’

ABSTRACT The concept of distributed moral responsibility (DMR) has a long history. When it is understood as being entirely reducible to the sum of (some) human, individual and already morally loaded actions, then the allocation of DMR, and hence of praise and reward or blame and punishment, may be pragmatically difficult, but not conceptually problematic. […]