Fair Play and Wrongful Benefits

Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (5):515-534 (2017)
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Abstract

According to the fair play defense of political obligations citizens have a reciprocity-based duty to share the costs involved in the production of public goods. But sometimes, states produce collective goods through wrongdoing. For example, sometimes states’ wrongful immigration policies can contribute to the welfare of their own populations. Do citizens have duties of reciprocity in light of such wrongful benefits? I argue that the answer to this question is negative. Drawing on the observation that beneficiaries of wrongdoing incur compensatory duties to the victims of that wrongdoing, I argue that, rather than having a duty of reciprocity for wrongful benefits, citizens have a duty to disgorge the benefits in compensation. Furthermore, the fair play defense of political obligations entails that citizens can be justified in disobeying the law in order to comply with their compensatory duties to victims of their state’s wrongdoing.

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Citations of this work

Is It Wrong to Benefit from Injustice?Katerina Psaroudaki - forthcoming - Moral Philosophy and Politics.
Rethinking the Principle of Fair Play.Justin Tosi - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):612-631.
The political speech rights of the tokenized.Connor K. Kianpour - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

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