Advertisement

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 775–787 | Cite as

Responsibility and Reciprocity

  • R. A. DuffEmail author
Article

Abstract

Discussions of responsibility typically focus on the person who is held responsible: what are the conditions or criteria of responsibility; what can be done to or demanded of a person who is responsible? This paper shifts focus onto those who hold, rather than those who are held, responsible: what do we owe to those whom we hold responsible? After distinguishing responsibility as answerability from responsibility as liability, it attends mainly to the former, and points out the ways in which it is multiply relational: I am responsible for something to someone who has the standing to call me to account for it, under the norms of some particular practice. Responsibility as thus understood is also reciprocal: if you are to be answerable to me, I must treat you with a certain respect, attend seriously to your answer, and be ready to answer to you myself. The paper explores some of the implications of this point both for our moral dealings with each other, and for criminal law and the criminal trial.

Keywords

Responsibility Answerability Liability Reciprocity Criminal trial 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to participants in a workshop ‘Responding to Wrongdoing: Resentment, Blame, Forgiveness, Punishment’ held at the University of Oslo Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature, to members of the Northern Political Philosophy Group, and to two anonymous reviewers, for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

References

  1. Auld R (2001) Review of the criminal courts of England and Wales. HMSO, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Christodoulidis E (2004) The objection that cannot be heard: communication and legitimacy in the courtroom. In: Duff RA et al (eds) The trial on trial (1): truth and due process. Hart publishing, Oxford, pp 179–202Google Scholar
  3. Cohen GA (2006) Casting the first stone: who can, and who can’t, condemn the terrorists. R Inst Philos Suppl 81(58):113–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Darwall S (2006) The second-person standpoint: morality, respect, and accountability. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Darwall S (2013) Morality, authority, and law. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Duff, R A (2007) Answering for crime: responsibility and liability in the criminal law. Hart Publishing, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. Duff, R A (2010) Blame, moral standing and the legitimacy of the criminal trial. Ratio 23:123–40Google Scholar
  8. Duff, R A (2018) The realm of criminal law. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. Duff, R A (2019) Moral and criminal responsibility: answering and refusing to answer. In: Coates, J, Shoemaker, D, and Tognazzini, N (eds) Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, vol. 5. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Duff, R A, Farmer, L, Marshall, S E, and Tadros, V (2007) The trial on trial (3): towards a normative theory of the criminal trial. Hart Publishing, Oxford Google Scholar
  11. Dzur A (2012) Punishment, participatory democracy, and the jury. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Farmer L (2013) Territorial jurisdiction and criminalization. University of Toronto Law Journal 63:225–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fischer JM, Ravizza M (1998) Responsibility and control: an essay on moral responsibility. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fletcher GP (1978) Rethinking criminal law. Little, Brown, Boston, MassGoogle Scholar
  15. Gaita R (2004) Good and evil: an absolute conception, 2nd edn. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gardner J (2003) The mark of responsibility. Oxf J Leg Stud 23:157–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hirst M (2003) Jurisdiction and the ambit of the criminal law. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kleinberg S (1986) How sacred is free speech? In: Maher G (ed) Freedom of speech: basis and limits. Franz Steiner, Stuttgart, pp 37–52Google Scholar
  19. Law Commission (2016) Unfitness to plead (law com. No 364). Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Matravers M (2004) More than just illogical’: truth and jury nullification. In: Duff RA et al (eds) The trial on trial (1): truth and due process. Hart publishing, Oxford, pp 71–83Google Scholar
  21. McKenna M (2012) Conversation and responsibility. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rubenstein AM (2006) Verdicts of conscience: nullification and the modern jury trial. Columbia Law Review 106:959–993Google Scholar
  23. Scanlon TM (2008) Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame. Harvard University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wallace RJ (1994) Responsibility and the moral sentiments. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. Watson G (2004) Two faces of responsibility. In: Watson G Agency and answerability: selected essays. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 260–288Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of StirlingStirlingUK

Personalised recommendations