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Just ResponsibilityA Human Rights Theory of Global Justice$
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Brooke A. Ackerly

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190662936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190662936.001.0001

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The Theoretical (Ir)relevance of the Unknowns of Injustice Itself

The Theoretical (Ir)relevance of the Unknowns of Injustice Itself

(p.104) 3 The Theoretical (Ir)relevance of the Unknowns of Injustice Itself
Just Responsibility

Brooke A. Ackerly

Oxford University Press

Just responsibility expects that we take political responsibility for injustice itself because there is injustice itself, and not because we know and understand all of its dimensions. Relying on the cognitive and voluntary conditions generally required by moral and legal philosophy for assigning or taking personal responsibility is a politically conservative approach to injustice. Due to the complexities of politics, injustice itself entails unforeseen and unforeseeable interaction effects and contingencies. Due to the social epistemologies developed in chapter 2, individually and in groups we have cognitive limitations in perceiving certain forms of injustice. Likewise, the voluntary condition imposes an inappropriate political limitation on considerations of the complex relations of actions and interacting forces affecting injustice itself. Just responsibility requires other approaches to identifying and taking responsibility for injustice itself. These are set out in the chapter.

Keywords:   voluntary condition, cognitive condition, cognitive bias, actor, bystander, misfortune, tragedy, natural disaster, Frederick Douglass, Eleanor Roosevelt

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