Statistics from Altmetric.com
In applied ethics, debates about responsibility have been relentlessly individualistic and synchronic, even as recognition has increased in both philosophy and psychology that agency is distributed across time and individuals. I therefore warmly welcome Brown and Savulescu’s analysis of the conditions under which responsibility can be shared and extended. By carefully delineating how diachronic and dyadic responsibility interact with the long-established control and epistemic conditions, they lay the groundwork needed for identifying how responsibility may be inter-individual and intra-individual.
Unsurprisingly, I don’t agree with every aspect of their rich account (as they anticipate, in discussing my work). I strongly suspect that the privileged place the individual continues to occupy in their taxonomy is a residue of the kind of internalist intuitions which dominate WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic) thinking.1 2 However, I won’t pursue this line of thought here (having done so elsewhere3). Instead, I apply Brown and Savulescu’s analysis. Moving beyond the programmatic level at which they develop their account, I will show how it provides a basis for excusing many individuals, focusing not on the dyadic (or, as I would prefer, social) level but the diachronic.
Most of the …
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.