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    Oderberg, David S 2017. Further clarity on cooperation and morality. Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 43, Issue. 4, p. 192.

  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: May 2010

The Ethics of Co-operation in Wrongdoing



There are a number of ways in which a person can share the guilt of another's wrongdoing. He might advise it, command it or consent to it. He might provoke it, praise it, flatter the wrongdoer, or conceal the wrong. He might stay silent when there is a clear duty to denounce the wrong or its perpetrator; or he might positively defend the wrong done. Finally, he might actively participate or co-operate in the wrongdoing. These various activities, apart from co-operation, typically occur before or after the commission of the wrong itself, only provocation being essentially before the fact. As such they fall into the categories of seduction or comfort, seduction being essentially pre-commission and comfort post-commission. In seduction (mutatis mutandis for comfort), the seducer typically leads another into doing wrong who has not definitely made up his mind. He does not assist in the commission, but he leads to its occurring. If the principal (as I will call the one who commits the wrong) has made up his mind, actions which might otherwise amount to seduction are best characterized as amounting to scandal, since they do not lead to wrong but reinforce the principal in his wrongful intent or provide to third parties a bad example since they connote approval of the principal's action. Closely related to the concept of seduction is that of solicitation, though perhaps these are best thought of as two aspects of the same kind of activity.

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Modern Moral Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9780511550836
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