Reparations, Responsibility, and Formalism: A Reply to Carnes

Philosophia, 2020

5 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2021

See all articles by Raff Donelson

Raff Donelson

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law

Date Written: July 1, 2020

Abstract

In a recent paper, Thomas Carnes develops a novel argument for reparations for historical injustices, like American slavery. He argues that reparations may be permissible, even if we grant that contemporary people did not cause those injustices and should not be made to pay for injustices they did not commit. On Carnes's view, the State, which is non-identical with its citizenry, should be made to pay. This Reply shows that Carnes succeeds only at the cost of invoking an implausible formalism. The Reply also presents in brief a simpler argument for reparations.

Keywords: Attributive responsibility, Cost-spreading, Formalism, Functionalism, Reparations. Substantive responsibility

Suggested Citation

Donelson, Raff, Reparations, Responsibility, and Formalism: A Reply to Carnes (July 1, 2020). Philosophia, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3717192

Raff Donelson (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law ( email )

150 S College St
Carlisle, PA 17013
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
79
Abstract Views
327
rank
386,561
PlumX Metrics