Public Affairs Quarterly 13 (1):83-98 (1999)

Stephen Kershnar
Fredonia State University
We should adopt the following principle with regard to compensatory justice. (1) If an unjust act benefits an innocent person and there is no reasonable way to assess the amount of damages to the victim, then compensatory justice does not require that the innocent beneficiary pay compensation for those damages. We cannot reasonably assess the amount of damages to current racial minorities that have resulted from past discriminatory acts. Problems arise in determining the identity of the injured parties, the identity of the injuring agents and injuring acts (and omissions), and the degree of injury that directly resulted from these acts (or omissions). Since such compensable damages cannot be accurately estimated and since white male applicants are innocent beneficiaries of past discriminatory acts, the value of compensatory justice does not justify strong affirmative action programs.
Keywords Affirmative Action  Reparations  Race  Ethnicity  Minorities  University Admission  Race Discrimination  Sex Discrimination  The Non-Identity Problem
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Affirmative Action.Robert Fullinwider - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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