I, VOLKSWAGEN

Journal article


Collins, Stephanie. (2022). I, VOLKSWAGEN. The Philosophical Quarterly. 72(2), pp. 283-304. https://doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqab032
AuthorsCollins, Stephanie
Abstract

Philosophers increasingly argue that collective agents can be blameworthy for wrongdoing. Advocates tend to endorse functionalism, on which collectives are analogous to complicated robots. This is puzzling: we don’t hold robots blameworthy. I argue we don’t hold robots blameworthy because blameworthiness presupposes the capacity for a mental state I call ‘moral self-awareness’. This raises a new problem for collective blameworthiness: collectives seem to lack the capacity for moral self-awareness. I solve the problem by giving an account of how collectives have this capacity. The trick is to take seriously individuals’ status as flesh-and-blood material constituents of collectives. The idea will be: under certain conditions that I specify, an individual can be the locus of a collective's moral self-awareness. The account provides general insights concerning collectives’ dependence on members, the boundaries of membership, and the locus of collectives’ phenomenology.

Keywordscollective agency; collective responsibility; blameworthiness; self-awareness; social ontology; organisations
Year2022
JournalThe Philosophical Quarterly
Journal citation72 (2), pp. 283-304
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN0031-8094
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqab032
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85128408191
Page range283-304
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online22 Jun 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited12 May 2023
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