Voids or Fragmentation: Moral Responsibility For Collective Outcomes

Matthew Braham, Martin van Hees

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Institutional rules create difficulties for the allocation of moral responsibility. One problem is the existence of responsibility voids, i.e. situations in which an outcome results from individual interactions but for which no one is responsible. Another is that responsibility can be fragmented in the sense that responsibility-bearing individuals may be responsible for different features of the outcome. This study examines both problems together. We show that for a large class of situations the two problems are logically dependent. More precisely, non-dictatorial decision procedures can only ensure the absence of voids if they allow for the fragmentation of responsibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F95-F113
JournalEconomic Journal
Volume128
Issue number612
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Fingerprint

Responsibility
Fragmentation
Moral responsibility
Interaction

Cite this

@article{776243c057fc47cd867290ec6ae0e617,
title = "Voids or Fragmentation: Moral Responsibility For Collective Outcomes",
abstract = "Institutional rules create difficulties for the allocation of moral responsibility. One problem is the existence of responsibility voids, i.e. situations in which an outcome results from individual interactions but for which no one is responsible. Another is that responsibility can be fragmented in the sense that responsibility-bearing individuals may be responsible for different features of the outcome. This study examines both problems together. We show that for a large class of situations the two problems are logically dependent. More precisely, non-dictatorial decision procedures can only ensure the absence of voids if they allow for the fragmentation of responsibility.",
author = "Matthew Braham and {van Hees}, Martin",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/ecoj.12507",
language = "English",
volume = "128",
pages = "F95--F113",
journal = "Economic Journal",
issn = "0013-0133",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "612",

}

Voids or Fragmentation : Moral Responsibility For Collective Outcomes. / Braham, Matthew; van Hees, Martin.

In: Economic Journal, Vol. 128, No. 612, 01.07.2018, p. F95-F113.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Voids or Fragmentation

T2 - Moral Responsibility For Collective Outcomes

AU - Braham, Matthew

AU - van Hees, Martin

PY - 2018/7/1

Y1 - 2018/7/1

N2 - Institutional rules create difficulties for the allocation of moral responsibility. One problem is the existence of responsibility voids, i.e. situations in which an outcome results from individual interactions but for which no one is responsible. Another is that responsibility can be fragmented in the sense that responsibility-bearing individuals may be responsible for different features of the outcome. This study examines both problems together. We show that for a large class of situations the two problems are logically dependent. More precisely, non-dictatorial decision procedures can only ensure the absence of voids if they allow for the fragmentation of responsibility.

AB - Institutional rules create difficulties for the allocation of moral responsibility. One problem is the existence of responsibility voids, i.e. situations in which an outcome results from individual interactions but for which no one is responsible. Another is that responsibility can be fragmented in the sense that responsibility-bearing individuals may be responsible for different features of the outcome. This study examines both problems together. We show that for a large class of situations the two problems are logically dependent. More precisely, non-dictatorial decision procedures can only ensure the absence of voids if they allow for the fragmentation of responsibility.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85049528111&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85049528111&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/ecoj.12507

DO - 10.1111/ecoj.12507

M3 - Article

VL - 128

SP - F95-F113

JO - Economic Journal

JF - Economic Journal

SN - 0013-0133

IS - 612

ER -