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Countering the Counterfactual: A Case for Rectificatory Justice for Colonialism
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Centre for Applied Ethics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Rectificatory justice for colonialism has been, in recent years, included in the discussion of global justice. The idea is that former colonial powers acknowledge, apologise and make reparations for the harms caused during colonialism. However, there are some objections to rectificatory justice for colonialism. This paper examines one of the main objections, the counterfactual argument. This objection has been found to have some plausibility due to the difficulty in estimating the effect of past injustice on present conditions, as well as the claim that African countries did indeed benefit from colonialism. However, due to the exploitative nature of colonialism, it is reasonable to argue for rectificatory justice based solely on the harm caused, without having to conceptualise a world without the occurrence of colonialism. The aim of this paper is to claim that the harms of colonialism are partly to blame for the current global inequality and that rectificatory justice will go a long way in decreasing this inequality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 36 p.
Keyword [en]
rectificatory justice, colonialism, counterfactuals, injustice, objectification, equality
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120380ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--15/02--SEOAI: diva2:844032
Subject / course
Master in Applied Ethics
Available from: 2015-08-03 Created: 2015-08-03 Last updated: 2015-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Matundura, Antonina
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Centre for Applied EthicsFaculty of Arts and Sciences

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