Historical Justice, Nationhood and African Americans
Article [Version of Record]
Is part ofIthaque ; 12
Publisher(s)Société philosophique Ithaque
The intelligibility of historical justice is linked to matters of agency and causation. This article presents an account of historical justice limited to transgenerational collective agents which is immune to the agency and causation problems affecting traditional theories of diachronic justice. The novel theory is applied to the case of African Americans, to whom no reparations for past wrongs have been made up to now. When conceived as a transgenerational collective agent – i.e. as a nation–, the African Americans are shown to be owed reparations by the American polity. These reparations are deemed necessary to the goal of reconciliation and to the establishment of relations of mutual respect, which are construed as preconditions to effective distributive justice, here and now.
Guertin-Armstrong, S. (2013). "Historical Justice, Nationhood and African Americans". Ithaque, 12, p.23-51.