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Social Theory and Practice

Volume 39, Issue 4, October 2013

Carl Knight
Pages 581-598

Benefiting from Injustice and Brute Luck

Many political philosophers maintain that beneficiaries of injustice are under special obligations to assist victims of injustice. However, the examples favored by those who endorse this view equally support an alternative luck egalitarian view, which holds that special obligations should be assigned to those with good brute luck. From this perspective the distinguishing features of the benefiting view are (1) its silence on the question of whether to allocate special obligations to assist the brute luck worse off to those who are well off as a matter of brute luck but not as a result of injustice, and (2) its silence on the question of whether to allocate assistance to those who are badly off as a matter of brute luck but not as a result of injustice. In this new light, the benefiting view is harder to justify.

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