When a collective is blamed, the responsibility does not escape individuals. Spheres of influence are designed to determine the scale of blame; namely, by proximity and ability to influence a different result. Agents in the respective role types will be responsible upon our examining their extent of influence. Although you may be inclined to say that the responsibility lies with those who have access to policy-making, this doesn't allow for the deviants we expect at appropriate times. Here we are compelled to seek a new moral outlook that maintains our perception of ourself: “what is not worthy of me must not be confused with special requirements of my ‘station and its duties’.”
This essay offers a direction to assuage Lewis's fears toward collective responsibility. The challenges to individual responsibility behind such an ascription is complex but need not obliterate it. The delineation of roles by spheres of influence and activity gives some markers to the culpable agents.
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Abbarno, J.M. Role responsibility and values. J Value Inquiry 27, 305–316 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01087680
- Special Requirement
- Individual Responsibility
- Collective Responsibility
- Respective Role
- Role Responsibility