Group Responsibility

Topics: Shame, Morality, Blame Pages: 2 (489 words) Published: August 1, 2008
Group responsibility is an interesting question. Is it the group’s fault? The individual within the group who brought up the idea? Does the responsibility fall on the leader of the group? These questions deal with accountability which is a topic highly contested with in moral philosophy (Feinberg 1968). ‘Contributory Group Fault’ is where members of the group relate to, or are involved with the contributions of the group, collective but fault is not distributive (Feinberg 1968). This is very attractive because everyone makes mistakes but no one wants to take responsibility, Collective responsibility ‘group liability without fault’ makes the whole group morally responsible for the actions of one or more of the members. This responsibility includes both when the group is successful and when mistakes are made. There is a significant degree of solidarity among the members of the group for this type of collective responsibility to work. This day and age this type of loyalty and solidarity is very rare and almost non-existent. Usually when a group’s action is the result of damage to property, emotions, financial loss etc…the members of the group try to place blame on the others in the group, mostly on the group leader (Feinberg 1968). This goes against what collective responsibility or group liability without fault means. When there is shame, guilt or liability directed at the group, which results in punishment, every member accepts responsibility of the wrongdoing equally as a group. Sounds great, but every time blame is given the circumstances need to be looked at, so as to place blame where blame belongs. Let us say that, a foreman is in charge of six people on a construction site. One of the workers hurt themselves and is too embarrassed to report it. After two weeks he reports the injury because infection sets in. Did the worker not report it because of the foreman? Was it the whole crews fault? Or is it the one who was hurt and did not report it? Is it not the...
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