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Daniel Butt
Oxford University
  1. On benefiting from injustice.Daniel Butt - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):129-152.
    How do we acquire moral obligations to others? The most straightforward cases are those where we acquire obligations as the result of particular actions which we voluntarily perform. If I promise you that I will trim your hedge, I face a moral Obligation to uphold my promise, and in the absence of some morally significant countervailing reason, I should indeed cut your hedge. Moral obligations which arise as a result of wrongdoing, as a function of corrective justice, are typically thought (...)
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  2. On Benefiting from Injustice.Daniel Butt - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):129-152.
    How do we acquire moral obligations to others? The most straightforward cases are those where we acquire obligations as the result of particular actions which we voluntarily perform. If I promise you that I will trim your hedge, I face a moral Obligation to uphold my promise, and in the absence of some morally significant countervailing reason, I should indeed cut your hedge. Moral obligations which arise as a result of wrongdoing, as a function of corrective justice, are typically thought (...)
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  3. ‘A Doctrine Quite New and Altogether Untenable’: Defending the Beneficiary Pays Principle.Daniel Butt - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (4):336-348.
    This article explores the ethical architecture of the ‘beneficiary pays’ principle, which holds that agents can come to possess remedial obligations of corrective justice to others through the involuntary receipt of benefits stemming from injustice. Advocates of the principle face challenges of both persuasion and limitation in seeking to convince those unmoved of its normative force, and to explain in which cases of benefiting from injustice it does and does not give rise to rectificatory obligations. The article considers ways in (...)
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  4. What Structural Injustice Theory Leaves Out.Daniel Butt - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (5):1161-1175.
    Alasia Nuti’s recent book Injustice and the Reproduction of History: Structural Inequalities, Gender and Redress puts forward a compelling vision of contemporary duties to redress past wrongdoing, grounded in the idea of “historical-structural-injustice”, constituted by the “structural reproduction of an unjust history over time and through changes”. Such an approach promises to transcend the familiar scholarly divide between “backward-looking” and “forward-looking” models, and allow for a reparative approach that focuses specifically on those past wrongs that impact the present, while retaining (...)
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  5. Nations, Overlapping Generations and Historic Injustice.Daniel Butt - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (4):357-367.
    This article considers the question of the responsibility that present day generations bear as a result of the actions of their ancestors. Is it morally significant that we share a national identity with those responsible for the perpetration of historic injustice? The article argues that we can be guilty of wrongdoing stemming from past wrongdoing if we are members of nations that are responsible for an ongoing failure to fulfil rectificatory duties. This rests upon three claims: that the failure to (...)
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  6. Colonialism and Postcolonialism.Daniel Butt - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Blackwell. pp. 892-898.
    A range of important ethical issues emerges from a consideration of the past interaction between colonizing and colonized peoples. This article first seeks to describe the key characteristics of colonialism as a system of domination and subjugation, before considering the legitimacy of contemporary judgments on the morality of historical colonialism. It then examines how the particular character of colonialism complicates arguments relating to the rectification of injustice. It concludes by asking what lessons those interested in ethics can learn from the (...)
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  7. Repairing Historical Wrongs and the End of Empire.Daniel Butt - 2012 - Social and Legal Studies 21 (2):227-242.
    This article addresses the claim that some contemporary states may possess obligations to pay reparations as a result of the lasting effects of a particular form of historic imperialism: colonialism. Claims about the harms and benefits caused by colonialism must make some kind of comparison between the world as it currently is, and a counterfactual state where the injustice which characterised so much of historic interaction between colonisers and the colonised did not occur. Rather than imagining a world a world (...)
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  8. Inheriting rights to reparation: compensatory justice and the passage of time.Daniel Butt - 2013 - Ethical Perspectives 20 (2):245-269.
    This article addresses the question of whether present day individuals can inherit rights to compensation from their ancestors. It argues that contemporary writing on compensatory justice in general, and on the inheritability of rights to compensation in particular, has mischaracterized what is at stake in contexts where those responsible for wrongdoing continually refuse to make reparation for their unjust actions, and has subsequently misunderstood how later generations can advance claims rooted in the past mistreatment of their forebears. In particular, a (...)
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  9. ‘‘ ‘The Polluter Pays’: Backward-looking principles of intergenerational Justice and the environment.Daniel Butt - 2013 - In Jean-Christophe Merle (ed.), Spheres of Global Justice. Springer. pp. 757-774.
    This paper provides theoretical support for two historical principles for the allocation of remedial responsibility for paying the costs of pollution caused by humans. These remedial principles are based upon particular forms of backward-looking connection with the pollution in question. The suggestion is that we can have reasons to pay the costs of pollution when we are members of communities which were responsible for the original polluting acts in question and/or which have benefited from the polluting acts. In seeking to (...)
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  10. Distributive Justice in Postcolonial Studies.Daniel Butt - 2018 - In Patrick Savidan (ed.), Dictionnaire des inégalités et de la justice sociale. Paris, France:
    This is the English version of the article, originally published in French as "Justice Postcoloniale" [Postcolonial justice].
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  11. Corrupting the Youth: Should Parents Feed their Children Meat?Daniel Butt - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (4):981-997.
    This article is concerned with choices that parents or guardians make about the food they give to their children. Those with primary responsibility for the care of young children determine the set of foods that their children eat and have a significant impact on children’s subsequent dietary choices, both in later childhood and in adulthood. I argue that parents have a morally significant reason not to feed meat to their children, which stems from their fiduciary responsibility for the child’s moral (...)
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  12. Option luck, gambling, and fairness.Daniel Butt - 2012 - Ethical Perspectives 19 (3):417-443.
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  13. ‘Victors’ justice’? Historic injustice and the legitimacy of international law.Daniel Butt - 2009 - In Lukas H. Meyer (ed.), Legitimacy, Justice and Public International Law. Cambridge Univeristy Press. pp. 163.
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  14. Global Equality of Opportunity as an Institutional Standard of Distributive Justice.Daniel Butt - 2012 - In Chi Carmody, Frank J. Garcia & John Linarelli (eds.), Global Justice and International Economic Law: Opportunities and Prospects. Cambridge University Press.
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  15.  7
    Historical justice in post-colonial contexts: repairing historical wrongs and the end of empire.Daniel Butt - 2015 - In Klaus Neumann & Janna Thompson (eds.), Historical justice and memory. The University of Wisconsin Press.
    It is a truism to say that we live in a world that has been deeply shaped by imperialism. The history of humanity is, in many ways, a story of the attempted and achieved subjugation of one people by another, and it is unsurprising that such interaction has had profound effects on the contemporary world, affecting cultural understandings of community identity; the composition of, and boundaries between, modern day states; and the distribution of resources between different communities. This chapter addresses (...)
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  16. Restitution Post Bellum: Property, Inheritance, and Corrective Justice.Daniel Butt - 2019 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 36 (3):357-365.
    The aftermath of war is always messy and complicated. When should objects or resources that were unjustly taken in wartime be returned to the victims of misappropriation, or their heirs? This article advances two arguments that are intended to buttress claims for the restitution of property in general, and particularly claims advanced by the heirs of the original victims of misappropriation.
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  17. Historic injustice and the inheritance of rights and duties in East Asia.Daniel Butt - 2013 - In Jun-Hyeok Kwak & Melissa Nobles (eds.), Inherited Responsibility and Historical Reconciliation in East Asia. Routledge. pp. 38-55.
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  18.  6
    Settling Claims for Reparations.Daniel Butt - 2022 - Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity 11 (1):60-79.
    The scale and character of past injustice can seem overwhelming. Grievous wrongdoing characterizes so much of human history, both within and between different political communities. This raises a familiar question of reparative justice: what is owed in the present as a result of the unjust actions of the past? This article asks what should be done in situations where contemporary debts stemming from past injustice are massive in scale, and seemingly call for nonideal resolution or settlement. Drawing on recent work (...)
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