On the Question of Moral Responsibility of Collective Entities
The objective of this article is to answer the question: On what basis, or under what conditions can moral responsibility be attributed to a collective? The author assumes that the moral world is not only populated by individuals, but it also includes groups. The goal of the paper is to show that raising the question of collective responsibility in its moral dimension depends on the ontological recognition of the collective as a new entity with its own intentions, which is different from the entities of individuals who make it up. The author first presents some solutions based on the methodological individualism, which derive the existence of collective moral responsibility from the internal rules of group decision-making and from collectively shared goals. The author sees the problem of the examined views in the fact that the combination of the methodological individualism with a certain collectivist vision does not guarantee the recognition of collective entities in their real existence. Based on the holistically oriented research of V. Descombes, the study subsequently focuses on defining the ontological status of the collective. Using his arguments, the paper concludes that applying the idea of moral responsibility at the collective level presupposes recognition of the collective as a supra-individual entity sui generis and as a subject of collective intentionality.
Imputability, Individual responsibility, Individualistic methodology, Holism, Collective intentionality, Collective entity, Collective identity, Collec-tive moral responsibility, Descombes, Gilbert, Pettit