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Climate Change and the Moral AgentIndividual Duties in an Interdependent World$
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Elizabeth Cripps

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665655.001.0001

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Doing and Preventing Harm

Doing and Preventing Harm

(p.58) 3 Doing and Preventing Harm
Climate Change and the Moral Agent

Elizabeth Cripps

Oxford University Press

This chapter identifies The Able and Polluters as should-be collectivities: potential collectivities with a moral duty to organise to act collectively. Applying a moderate collectivised principle of beneficence, it is argued that The Able have a weakly collective duty to mitigate and enable adaptation to climate change. An expanded notion of negative moral responsibility is defended, on which a set of individuals are weakly collectively responsible for harm resulting predictably from the aggregation of their avoidable individual acts. This is used to defend a weakly collective duty of Polluters to mitigate, enable adaptation to, and compensate for climate change for which current generations are responsible. It is noted how fulfilment of these three weakly collective duties might be approximated by one fair collective scheme at the level of The Able.

Keywords:   climate change, potential collectivity, The Able, polluters, collective harm, principle of beneficence

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