Costly authority and transferred responsibility

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Revisionist just war theorists maintain that, soldiers, and not merely their leaders or superiors, bear moral responsibility for objectively wrongful harms imposed in pursuit of an unjust war. The conviction that underlies revisionism is that a person's responsibility for her intentional, objectively unjustified, killing is non-transferable. In this essay I aim to elaborate a specific counterexample to this general claim. I will argue that in cases that I characterize as "special authority cases", the moral responsibility for the unintended outcomes that a person brings about because of following the orders of a legitimate authority is transferred to the authority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3579-3595
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume178
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Jonathan Parry
  • Legitimate authority
  • Liability
  • Massimo Renzo
  • Responsibility

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