Compensation as Moral Repair and as Moral Justification for Risks.

Ethics, Politics, and Society 2 (1):33-63 (2019)
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Can compensation repair the moral harm of a previous wrongful act? On the one hand, some define the very function of compensation as one of restoring the moral balance. On the other hand, the dominant view on compensation is that it is insufficient to fully repair moral harm unless accompanied by an act of punishment or apology. In this paper, I seek to investigate the maximal potential of compensation. Central to my argument is a distinction between apologetic compensation and non-apologetic compensation. Apologetic compensation, I argue, is an act that expresses regret and apology by means of some offer of money, goods, or services. Non-apologetic compensation is an act that seeks to restore loss or harm without expressing regret or apology. In the paper, I defend the view that acts of compensation can be apologetic and argue that such apologetic compensation is sufficient for moral repair.

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Madeleine Hayenhjelm
UmeƄ University


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