Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 671–686 | Cite as

Moral Judgment and the Duties of Innocent Beneficiaries of Injustice

  • Matthew LindauerEmail author
  • Christian Barry


The view that innocent beneficiaries of injustice bear special duties to victims of injustice has recently come under attack. Luck egalitarian theorists have argued that thought experiments focusing on the way innocent beneficiaries should distribute the benefits they’ve received provide evidence against this view. The apparent special duties of innocent beneficiaries, they hold, are wholly reducible to general duties to compensate people for bad brute luck. In this paper we provide empirical evidence in defense of the view that innocent beneficiaries have genuine special duties to victims of injustice. Through a series of four experiments, we show that judgments about the kinds of cases that luck egalitarian critics have provided do not undermine but rather support this view. We also explore a number of other questions that theorists working in this area have yet to discuss and provide suggestions for further research on the moral significance of benefiting from injustice.


Geisser Correction Full Compensation Special Duty General Duty Luck Egalitarianism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Philosophy, Research School of Social SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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