Collective Punishment and Responsibility

Collective Responsibility

Collective responsibility is to be contrasted with individual responsibility. Here, we shall be focusing on the debate concerning collective moral responsibility rather than any legal significance of the term because Western legal systems primarily regard individual humans as the proper subjects before the law. The philosophical debate surrounding the legitimate attribution of moral responsibility is premised on the notion that individual humans generally possess certain metaphysical characteristics in virtue of which they qualify as moral agents and may, thus, be legitimately attributed with moral responsibility. The debate concerning collective moral responsibility is then couched in terms of discussing whether or not a group of individuals can collectively possess the relevant characteristics of moral agency to be legitimately attributed with moral responsibility collectively.

It is generally ...

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