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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

Chapter:
(p.177) 9 Joint Activities and Moral Obligation
Source:
The Normative Animal?
Author(s):

Holmer Steinfath

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190846466.003.0009

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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