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Globalization of Markets, Distant Harms and the Need for a Relational Ethics

digital Globalization of Markets, Distant Harms and the Need
for a Relational Ethics
Article
journal RIVISTA INTERNAZIONALE DI SCIENZE SOCIALI
issue RIVISTA INTERNAZIONALE DI SCIENZE SOCIALI - 2017 - 1
title Globalization of Markets, Distant Harms and the Need for a Relational Ethics
author
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
online since 04-2017
issn 0035-676X (print) | 1827-7918 (digital)
€ 6.00

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Traditional ethics has imputed the morality of action to the ‘‘acting subject’’ on the basis of a principle of linear causality. But in a complex, uncertain and globalized society it becomes more difficult to answer the question of who is responsible for the harm that market agents bring to bear on distant others in an impersonal and unintentional way. Moral responsibility becomes real only if it makes reference to a ‘‘relational subject’’ constituted by the network of participants. Ethics is required to make itself relational, in the sense that the attribution of responsibility for acting for good or ill cannot be limited to a single act, but invokes the reflexivity of subjects and of social processes that take place in networks of relations. We need an ethics of responsibility that is not restricted to direct consequences of individual acts, but also takes into account the indirect consequences of relational networks.

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