The Social Creation of Morality and Complicity in Collective Harms:A Kantian Account

Williams, Garrath David (2019) The Social Creation of Morality and Complicity in Collective Harms:A Kantian Account. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 36 (3). pp. 457-470. ISSN 0264-3758

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Abstract

This article considers the charge that citizens of developed societies are complicit in large‐scale harms, using climate destabilisation as its central example. It contends that we have yet to create a lived morality – a fabric of practices and institutions – that is adequate to our situation. As a result, we participate in systematic injustice, despite all good efforts and intentions. To make this case, the article draws on recent discussions of Kant's ethics and politics. Section 2 considers Tamar Schapiro's account of how otherwise decent actions can be corrupted by others’ betrayals, and hence fall into complicity. Section 3 turns to discussions by Christine Korsgaard and Lucy Allais, which highlight how people can be left without innocent choices if shared frameworks of interaction do not instantiate core ideals. Section 4 brings these ideas together in order to make sense of the charge of complicity in grave collective harms, and addresses some worries that the idea of unavoidable complicity may raise.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Applied Philosophy
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Williams, G. (2018), The Social Creation of Morality and Complicity in Collective Harms: A Kantian Account. J Appl Philos. . doi:10.1111/japp.12334 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/japp.12334/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1211
Subjects:
ID Code:
126730
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
10 Aug 2018 12:56
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
29 Sep 2020 04:22