Rowman and Littlefield International


Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice

Edited by Kendy M. Hess, Violetta Igneski, and Tracy Isaacs

2 Reviews

This volume explores new and urgent applications of collective action theory, such as global poverty, the race and class politics of urban geography, and culpable conduct in organizational criminal law. It draws attention to new questions about the status of corporate agents and new approaches to collective obligation and responsibility.

Hardback ISBN: 9781786606303 Release date: Nov 2018
£104.00 €126.00 $135.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781786606310 Release date: Nov 2018
£35.00 €41.95 $44.95
Ebook ISBN: 9781786606327 Release date: Nov 2018
£29.95 €41.95 $42.50

Pages: 342


Collectivity: Ontology, Ethics, and Social Justice brings new voices and new approaches to under-developed areas in the philosophical literature on collectives and collective action. The essays in this volume introduce and explore a range of topics that fall under the more general concept of collectivity, including collective ontology, collective action, collective obligation, and collective responsibility. A number of the chapters link collectivity directly to significant issues of social justice.

The volume addresses a variety of questions including the ontology and taxonomy of social groups and other collective entities, ethical frameworks for understanding the nature and extent of individual and collective moral obligations, and applications of these conceptual explorations to oppressive social practices like mass incarceration, climate change, and global poverty. The essays draw on a variety of approaches and disciplines, including feminist and continental approaches and work in legal theory and geography, as well as more traditional philosophical contributions.

Introduction, Kendy Hess, Violetta Igneski, and Tracy Isaacs

Part One: Ontology

Chapter 1: Social Creationism and Social Groups, Katherine Ritchie

Chapter 2: The Peculiar Unity of Corporate Agents, Kendy Hess

Chapter 3: Can There Be an Ethics for Institutional Agents? Sean Cordell

Chapter 4: At Cross Purposes: The Responsible Subject, Organizational Reality and the Criminal Law, Jennifer Quaid

Part Two: Ethics

Chapter 5: Making Sense of Collective Moral Obligations: A Comparison of Existing Approaches, Anne Schwenkenbecher

Chapter 6: Individual Duties in Unstructured Collective Contexts, Violetta Igneski

Chapter 7: Global Obligations and the Human Right to Health, Bill Wringe

Chapter 8: When Are Collective Obligations Too Demanding? Felix Pinkert

Chapter 9: Who Does Wrong When an Organization Does Wrong? Stephanie Collins

Part Three: Social Justice

Chapter 10: What Would a Feminist Theory of Collective Action and Responsibility Look Like? Tracy Isaacs

Chapter 11: Identities of Oppression: Collective Intentionality’s Seriality Problem, Eric Chelstrom

Chapter 12: Resisting Oppression Together: Participatory Intentions and Unequal Agents, Christina Friedlaender

Chapter 13: Geographically Gated Communities: Collective Participation, Marginalization, and the Importance of Shared Values, Sarah Roe and Elyse Zavar

Tracy Isaacs is Professor of Philosophy, Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. She is the author of Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts (2011) and co-editor, with Richard Vernon, of Accountability for Collective Wrongdoing (2011).

Kendy M. Hess is the Brake Smith Associate Professor of Social Philosophy and Ethics at the College of the Holy Cross.

Violetta Igneski is Associate Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University.

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2 Reviews

Hess, Igneski, and Isaacs have assembled an exceptional collection of new papers exploring the issues of ontology, ethics and social justice with respect to collectives. Many of the chapters advance and deepen prior analyses of the way collective entities should be considered from the point of view of moral responsibility, practically and theoretically. Collectivity makes provocative moves in the direction of aligning moral assessment and ontological considerations with the real world of corporations, organizations, groups, nations, and other collectives that control much of the social, political, and economic events that shape our lives for good or ill.

Peter A. French, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Arizona State University

This is a very fine collection of essays by a group of prominent scholars who together both deepen our philosophical understanding of collective responsibility and open our eyes to the importance of taking oppression, group identity, and social justice seriously in ascribing of it.

Marion Smiley, J. P. Morgan Chase Chair in Ethics, Brandeis University

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