Universität Wien

180062 PS Collective Responsibility (2020W)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 45 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 12.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 19.10. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 09.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 16.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 23.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 30.11. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 07.12. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 14.12. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 11.01. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 18.01. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital
Monday 25.01. 08:00 - 09:30 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

In this pro-seminar we will delve deep into the contemporary debate in analytic philosophy on collective responsibility. It is normal in our everyday talk to say that groups are responsible: Humanity is responsible for climate change, a mob is responsible for wreaking havoc in the city center, a corporation is responsible for evading taxes.

We will look at possible answers to questions of the following kind:
- What exactly is collective responsibility? Are there different collective variants of responsibility? Is it moral, legal, causal, or outcome responsibility? Is there a forward-looking variant?
- What kind of groups, if any, can be collectively responsible as such?
- What does it exactly mean for a group to be responsible? And what does this (potentially) imply for members of that group?
- Is it fair or coherent to hold individuals responsible for the actions of others?
- How does collective responsibility relate to other notions such as agency, obligations, actions, control, knowledge, etc.?

Assessment and permitted materials

- Active participation/preparation: reading the text and handing in reading questions, and participation in discussion (10%)
- Interlocutor: The student prepares a short presentation for one of the texts and leads the discussion (10%)
- A detailed outline of the essay you plan to write (20%).
- Essay (60%)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Each assessment must be completed minimally with a (4) in order to complete the course.
Students are expected to actively attend the seminar. Two unauthorized absences will be excused. Active seminar attendance includes reading the assigned core texts and submitting questions 12 out of 14 meetings, 24 hours before each seminar.
Students are expected to be capable of writing an essay according to academic standards.

Examination topics

Collective Responsibility

Reading list

To be announced in the first meeting.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:18