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by Gregory Mellema

   Individuals, Groups, and Shared Moral Responsibility THIS volume is a conceptual analysis of issues in group responsibility. An attempt is made to identify factors which affect the degree to which individuals sharing responsibility for what happens bear responsibility for it, as well as factors which are erroneously judged to have such an effect. An examination of these issues leads to extended discussions of acting or failing to act in the company of others, the sequence in which the agents in a group perform acts, and group risk taking. It is argued that the failure to understand such issues has contributed to a widespread uncertainty in contemporary society as to the moral implications of participating in group actions.

"This is a fine book about an important but unduly neglected topic. Mellema's writing is very clear throughout; he lays out his arguments in exemplary fashion--carefully, subtly, systematically, and without a hint of dogmatism; he employs many interesting and illuminating examples; and, where he takes a stand, the stand is always plausibly defended even if, as is often the case, it poses a challenge to popular beliefs. The book makes a strong, worthwhile, and much-needed contribution to our meagre understanding of the topic of shared moral responsibility."

Michael J. Zimmerman
Brown University

"A lucidly written and carefully argued book, filled with deft examples, about an extremely important topic which philosophers through the ages have almost entirely neglected--that of the responsibility of groups for their actions and of individuals for the actions of groups. The fact that this is the first sustained discussion of this issue, and that the conclusions arrived at often affront the received informal wisdom, make Mellema's book a pathbreaker."

Nicholas Wolterstorff
Calvin College &
The Free University of Amsterdam

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