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  • Cited by 6
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Mitcham, Carl 2003. Co-responsibility for research integrity. Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 9, Issue. 2, p. 273.

    Waelbers, Katinka 2009. Technological Delegation: Responsibility for the Unintended. Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 15, Issue. 1, p. 51.

    Owen, Richard Stilgoe, Jack Macnaghten, Phil Gorman, Mike Fisher, Erik and Guston, Dave 2013. Responsible Innovation. p. 27.

    Carassa, Antonella and Colombetti, Marco 2014. Interpersonal responsibilities and communicative intentions. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Vol. 13, Issue. 1, p. 145.

    2016. From Ethical Review to Responsible Research and Innovation. p. 169.

    Pellé, Sophie 2016. Process, outcomes, virtues: the normative strategies of responsible research and innovation and the challenge of moral pluralism. Journal of Responsible Innovation, Vol. 3, Issue. 3, p. 233.

  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: January 2010

Institutionally Divided Moral Responsibility


the notion of forward-looking moral responsibility

I am going to be discussing a mode of moral responsibility that anglo-phone philosophers have largely neglected. It is a type of responsibility that looks to the future rather than the past. Because this forward-looking moral responsibility is relatively unfamiliar in the lexicon of analytic philosophy, many of my locutions will initially strike many readers as odd. As a matter of everyday speech, however, the notion of forward-looking moral responsibility is perfectly familiar. Today, for instance, I said I would be responsible for watching my nieces while they swam. Neglecting this responsibility would have been a moral fault. When people marry, they undertake responsibilities, of moral import, of fidelity and mutual support. When people have children, they accrue moral responsibilities to feed, rear, and educate them. Not all forward-looking responsibilities are moral. While finishing this essay, I have had to keep an eye on a number of my administrative responsibilities, and, while reading it, you may well be occasionally distracted by some of your own. The notion of a responsibility that we accrue or take on, to look out for some range of concerns over some range of the future, is, then, perfectly familiar. Because this common notion of forward-looking responsibility has not been integrated into recent moral theory, however, my philosophical discussion of it will initially seem strange.

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