The Paradox of the Benefiting Samaritan

Journal of Practical Ethics 7 (Supplementary):13-33 (2019)
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Many persons believe that benefiting from injustice can be morally wrong. Philosophers have developed several compelling theories to justify this intuition. These theories, however, may have a difficult time explaining a particular set of benefit-from-injustice cases: cases in which the beneficiary subjectively opposes the injustice from which she objectively benefits. This paper suggests that our moral duties to disgorge the benefits of injustice may vary in proportion to our subjective intent in acquiring and using those benefits. In doing so, it reasons by analogy to other areas of moral and legal theory, including principles of compensation for unjust harms.
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Archival date: 2019-10-24
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