Carla Bagnoli

The Bystander’s Dilemma

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Moral Dilemmas, Rational Agency, Bystander, Reasons, Deliberation, Responsibility.

A bystander is by definition someone who is not involved in the heat of action. Yet bystanders are a significant presence in the context of action, and their intervention or inaction may have a normative impact on the context. In this paper, I consider some paradigmatic examples in which the bystander is expected or demanded to intervene but decides to hold back. Correspondingly, there is some basic agential activity involved in occupying the position of the bystander, and I shall argue that there are moral dilemmas distinctive to playing this role, and cases in which the bystander is (rationally and morally) expected to claim responsibility for action.

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