Making Sense of Vicarious Responsibility: Moral Philosophy Meets Legal Theory

Abstract

Vicarious responsibility is a notoriously puzzling notion in normative reasoning. In this article we will explore two fundamental issues, which we will call the “explication problem” and the “justification problem”. The former issue concerns how vicarious responsibility can plausibly be defined in terms of other normative concepts. The latter issue concerns how ascriptions of vicarious responsibility can be justified. We will address these two problems by combining ideas taken from legal theory and moral philosophy. Our analysis will emphasise the importance of the voluntary involvement of the normative parties considered liable in a relation with other normative parties who causally contributed to a prohibited state-of-affairs.

March 5, 2022 at 07:33PM

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