A Difficulty Concerning Compensation

Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (3):329-337 (2013)
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Abstract

We sometimes harm people legitimately, by standing in front of them in the queue at the cinema and buying the last available ticket, for instance, or by acting in self-defense. If we harm them illegitimately, however, we ostensibly have a moral obligation to compensate them for the harm done. And the more we harm them, the greater the compensation that, prima facie, we need to offer. But if the harm increases further, at some point we will need to offer less compensation. Yet more harm, and it is quite likely that no compensation at all will be morally expected. In such situations, the greater the harm, the better off we will be, morally, in one important respect. This is morally absurd but, I claim, true, and it does not appear to have received significant philosophical attention. I explore the issue

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Saul Smilansky
University of Haifa

Citations of this work

Proportionality in the Liability to Compensate.Todd Karhu - 2022 - Law and Philosophy 41 (5):583-600.
Non-Compensable Harms.Todd N. Karhu - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):222–230.
The Idea of Moral Duties to History.Saul Smilansky - 2021 - Philosophy 96 (2):155-179.

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