Counterfactual Challenges In Robert Waldron's Theory Of Reparation

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In considering reparations, Waldron first discusses the counterfactual approach where the ultimate aim of reparation is a full demand to rectify the injustice to the extent that the community affected is similarly placed in a situation had it not occur (7). Waldron largely draws from Robert Nozick’s principle of rectification in his theory of historic entitlement, stating that causal laws and subjunctive information may be applied to determine the equivalent future (8). However, Waldron points out the obvious difficulties with such an approach – namely the challenge of determining which outcome is the most appropriate, given that not all actions are attributable to rational-choice theory or by an extension of causal predictions. Critically …show more content…
Although Waldron acknowledges that aboriginal communities live whole lives affected by historic injustices, he elaborates on the normative and theoretical implications without addressing the empirical consequences that could be considered within the framework of counterfactual approach and approaches for remission. For example, the day-to-day challenges that many indigenous people face – such as lack of access to water, health care, low education rate, substandard housing, and so forth – do not call for a “substantial [transfer] of land, wealth, and resources in an effort to actually rectify past wrongs” (8). Rather, these actions can be viewed simply as providing the resources to the indigenous community that had otherwise already been provided to the majority of the population but unjustly denied to indigenous populations. Given that Waldron is arguing for the supersession of certain past historical injustice as a matter of circumstances of scarcity, it is an oversight that Waldron does not explicitly recommend how to deal with the scarcity currently faced by the aboriginal

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