Intention, benefits, and benefitting from injustice

Hui Jin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The question of whether beneficiaries of injustice have rectificatory responsibilities to the victims has received some attention lately. Most writers intuitively maintain that there is some responsibility on the beneficiaries' part to compensate the victims. Yet the problem is more complicated: how much responsibility can be appropriately conferred upon the beneficiaries and under what circumstances? This article argues that previous attempts to solve the problem have been unsatisfactory; these theories, while insightful, lack the analysis of the beneficiaries' moral psychology. Accordingly, based on some ideas of the previous theories, this article proposes a new theory to classify all cases of benefiting from injustice into three categories, arguing that the moral responsibility of beneficiaries in these categories can be determined in principle. The new theory aims more to reveal the structure of the agent's psychology and its moral implications than to provide a perfect solution to the conundrum; however, recognition of that is necessary for its solution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-162
    Number of pages14
    JournalSouth African Journal of Philosophy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


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