Complicity: Ethics and Law for a Collective Age

TitleComplicity: Ethics and Law for a Collective Age
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsKutz, C
PublisherCambridge University Press
Abstract

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.