Full text Read free
Heinzelmann, Nora. Compensation and moral luck
2021, The Monist 104 (2):251-264
Expand entry
Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Anonymous

In some vicarious cases of compensation, an agent seems obligated to compensate for a harm they did not inflict. This raises the problem that obligations for compensation may arise out of circumstantial luck. That is, an agent may owe compensation for a harm that was outside their control. Addressing this issue, I identify five conditions for compensation from the literature: causal engagement, proxy, ill-gotten gains, constitution, and affiliation. I argue that only two of them specify genuine and irreducible grounds for compensation, and that factors determining the agent’s obligations may be beyond their control. However, I suggest that this is unproblematic. There is thus no problem of circumstantial moral luck for compensation.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Roberts, Rodney C.. The Counterfactual Conception of Compensation
2006, Metaphilosophy, 37 (3-4): 414-428.
Expand entry
Added by: Rochelle DuFord

Abstract: My aim in this essay is to remove some of the rubbish that lies in the way of an appropriate understanding of rectificatory compensation, by arguing for the rejection of the counterfactual conception of compensation. Although there is a significant extent to which contemporary theorists have relied upon this idea, the counterfactual conception of compensation is merely a popular assumption, having no positive argument in support of it. Moreover, it can make rendering compensation impossible, and absurd notions of compensation can result from its use, results that may themselves constitute injustices. This latter difficulty is most troubling when the CCC is employed in large compensatory cases like the case of rectificatory compensation for the descendants of American slaves. I want to suggest that, taken together, the difficulties with the CCC yield sufficient reason for rejecting it as an acceptable rectificatory notion.

Comment: This text presents an interesting and accessible discussion of the counterfactual conception of compensation (most famously presented by Nozick, though one need not have read Nozick to understand this text) as a matter of rectificatory justice. It would be of use in courses concerning schemes or principles of distributive and rectificatory justice. As the text analyzes the justification for reparations to the decendents of African slaves in the U.S., it would also be of use in a course that covers questions of reparations for historical injustices (perhaps alongside Coates' well known "The Case for Reparations").

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Can’t find it?
Contribute the texts you think should be here and we’ll add them soon!