COMPENSATION AS MORAL REPAIR AND AS MORAL JUSTIFICATION FOR RISKS

  • Madeleine Hayenhjelm Senior lecturer (associate professor) at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Umeå University.

Abstract

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.

Published
2019-05-03