Compensation and moral luck

Heinzelmann N (2021)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2021


Book Volume: 104

Pages Range: 251-264

Journal Issue: 2


DOI: 10.1093/monist/onaa036

Open Access Link:


In some vicarious cases of compensation, an agent seems obligated to compensate for a harm they did not inflict. This raises the problem that obligations for compensation may arise out of circumstantial luck. That is, an agent may owe compensation for a harm that was outside their control. Addressing this issue, I identify five conditions for compensation from the literature: causal engagement, proxy, ill-gotten gains, constitution, and affiliation. I argue that only two of them specify genuine and irreducible grounds for compensation, and that factors determining the agent’s obligations may be beyond their control. However, I suggest that this is unproblematic. There is thus no problem of circumstantial moral luck for compensation.

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How to cite


Heinzelmann, N. (2021). Compensation and moral luck. The Monist, 104(2), 251-264.


Heinzelmann, Nora. "Compensation and moral luck." The Monist 104.2 (2021): 251-264.

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