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Social Philosophy Today

Volume 34, 2018

Justice: Social, Criminal, Juvenile

Carmen Madorrán Ayerra
Pages 51-62

Towards a Poliethics of Enhanced Responsibility

This paper aims at providing some insights into the philosophical tools that may help solve the huge problems of social (and environmental) justice. For that purpose, I focus on the concept of responsibility, since it could be a suitable catalyst for debate. This paper argues that we must necessarily develop an enhanced notion of responsibility and commit to it both at a social and institutional level. First, I will introduce the relation between ethics and politics—necessarily rather than contingently intertwined. I will elaborate on the concept of poliethics coined by the Spanish philosopher Francisco Fernández Buey. Second, I will outline certain changes undergone in recent years to the understanding of the concept of responsibility in the field of ethics and politics. Finally, I will argue that a significant extension of the notion of responsibility is still necessary if it is to play a relevant role in the contemporary world. I will therefore contend that there are sufficient reasons why our societies should do the moral stretch exercises suggested by Günther Anders. For that purpose, I suggest ten tenets that could serve as a basis for this poliethics of enhanced responsibility and for a collective reflection on this issue.

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