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The Normative Animal?On the Anthropological Significance of Social, Moral, and Linguistic Norms$
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Neil Roughley and Kurt Bayertz

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190846466

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190846466.001.0001

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Joint Activities and Moral Obligation

Joint Activities and Moral Obligation

(p.177) 9 Joint Activities and Moral Obligation
The Normative Animal?

Holmer Steinfath

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the close connection between “dyadic” moral obligations and joint activities that are essential for the social life of human beings. Against Margaret Gilbert’s well-known claim, the chapter argues that joint activities are not inherently laden with obligations and entitlements. However, it shows that there is a smooth transition from joint activities to a form of morality. In this transition, reactive attitudes like resentment play an important role. Full-blown moral normativity presupposes a group of more than two people, but the normative structure of a moral community mirrors the way in which people relate to each other in typical joint activities.

Keywords:   moral obligation, dyadic normativity, joint activity, Gilbert, Bratman, reactive attitude, moral community

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