Historic justice and the non-identity problem: The limitations of the subsequent-wrong solution and towards a new solution [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Law and Philosophy 27 (5):505 - 531 (2008)
The "non-identity argument" has been applied to reject the validity of claims for historic justice, often generating highly unintuitive conclusions. George Sher has suggested a solution to this problem, explaining the harm to descendants of historically wronged peoples as deriving not from the historic wrongs but from the failure to provide rectification to the previous generation for harm they suffered. That generation was likewise owed rectification for harm they suffered from failure to provide rectification to the generation preceding them. In this chain of injustices each failure to provide rectification to one is the source of wrongful harm to the next. Such chains form a "bridge" between the historic wrong and the harm suffered by living individuals. I call this approach the subsequent-wrong solution (SWS). I argue that bypassing the non-identity argument in this way is problematic. First, SWS cannot justify rectification in seemingly legitimate historic-justice claims, such as historic wrongs generating delayed harms that skip generations. Second, SWS justifies rectification for the wrong reasons, denying the essence of historic-justice claims: that past wrongs, for which original wrongdoers are responsible, harm descendants of original victims. Finally, SWS does not fully account for group membership's role in historic injustice, unable to distinguish between claims of descendants of historic victims and claims made by others with unrelated interests in the rectification of the previous generation. A supplementary solution is needed, focusing on the role of group harm and group membership. The plausibility of this approach, tying individual harm to group harm, derives from these three limitations of the subsequent-harm solution. I give a rudimentary account of what such a solution would look like.
|Keywords||Law Logic Political Science Social Sciences, general Philosophy of Law Law Theory/Law Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Edmund F. Byrne (2012). Appropriating Resources: Land Claims, Law, and Illicit Business. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 106 (4):453-466.
Similar books and articles
Rodney C. Roberts (2007). Another Look at a Moral Statute of Limitations on Injustice. Journal of Ethics 11 (2):177 - 192.
Seth R. M. Lazar (2008). Corrective Justice and the Possibility of Rectification. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4):355 - 368.
Elizabeth Harman (2009). Harming as Causing Harm. In M. A. Roberts & D. T. Wasserman (eds.), Harming Future Persons. Springer Verlag. 137--154.
Ori J. Herstein (2009). The Identity and (Legal) Rights of Future Generations. The George Washington Law Review 77:1173.
Russell Disilvestro (2009). Reproductive Autonomy, the Non-Identity Problem, and the Non-Person Problem. Bioethics 23 (1):59-67.
Daniel Butt (2006). Nations, Overlapping Generations and Historic Injustice. American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (4):357-367.
Rodney C. Roberts (2003). The Morality of a Moral Statute of Limitations on Injustice. Journal of Ethics 7 (1):115-138.
Daniel Butt (2009). Rectifying International Injustice: Principles of Compensation and Restitution Between Nations. Oxford University Press.
Steven Luper (2007). Mortal Harm. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):239–251.
Ori J. Herstein (2009). Historic Injustice, Group Membership and Harm to Individuals: Defending Claims for Historic Justice From the Non-Identity Problem. Harvard Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice 25:229.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads33 ( #72,944 of 1,696,305 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #111,244 of 1,696,305 )
How can I increase my downloads?