Saba Bazargan-ForwardNov 1, 2022
Authority, Cooperation, and Accountability
Oxford University Press 2022
We often find ourselves acting in concert with others, where what we do together goes beyond the causal contribution of any single participant. When a collection of individuals works together in a way that results in a wrongful harm, it’s intuitive to think that each of the participants should be held accountable. Yet this intuition needs to be squared with the fact that no single individual’s contribution was causally necessary for the wrongful harm to have occurred. Hence there’s a range of views about “collective responsibility” that posit group agents and collective intentions.
In Authority, Cooperation, and Accountability (Oxford UP, 2022), Saba Bazargan-Forward develops a different approach. On his view, ordinary features of human agency can be disbursed across individuals in a way that forms a division of agential labor. When such a division of labor is established, puzzles about collective responsibility can be resolved.
Robert Talisse is the W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.