The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 233–250 | Cite as

Collective Directionality: A New Possibility for Collectives as Objects of Normative Consideration

  • Marcus HedahlEmail author

People often talk about taxes owed to one’s nation, duties owedto a university, and debts owed to a corporation. Yet despite extensive debates about the possibility of collective moral agency1 and the possibility of collective correlates to individual natural rights,2 there has been surprisingly limited analysis about the possibility of collective counterparties to directed duties, i.e., collectives as entities to which directed duties can be owed.3

We can’t attribute this lack of consideration to an indifference concerning the directional aspect of the duties owed to others.4 With increasing frequency, failure to capture directionality itself is cited as a drawback of a given theory. One sees objections that an opposing framework cannot capture the fact that a given duty is owedto an animal,5owedto those wronged by environmental malfeasance,6 or owedto a promisee.7Nor can we attribute this lack of consideration to the fact that owing a duty to the individuals that comprise a...


Individual Interest Relevant Decision Collective Interest Normative Authority Collective Purpose 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leadership, Ethics, LawUnited States Naval AcademyAnnapolisUSA

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