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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Complicity: Ethics and Law for a Collective Age

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Christopher KutzUniversity of California, Berkeley

ISBN13: 9780521594523
ISBN: 0521594529
Published: October 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £67.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780521039703

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We live in a morally flawed world. Our lives are complicated by what other people do, and by the harms that flow from our social, economic, and political institutions. Our relations as individuals to these collective harms constitute the domain of complicity. This book examines the relationship between collective responsibility and individual guilt.

It presents a rigorous philosophical account of the nature of our relations to the social groups in which we participate, and uses that account in a discussion of contemporary moral theory. Christopher Kutz shows that the two prevailing theories of moral philosophy, Kantianism and consequentialism, both have difficulties resolving problems of complicity. He then argues for a richer theory of accountability in which any real understanding of collective action not only allows but demands individual responsibility.

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1. Introduction
2. The deep structure of individual accountability
3. Acting together
4. Moral accountability and collective action
5. The positionality of complicitous accountability
6. Facilitation, unstructured collective action, and collective accountability
7. Complicity, conspiracy, and shareholder liability
Conclusion: accountability and the possibility of community.