The Philosophical Dimensions of Reparations

The historical injustices perpetrated against blacks on American soil span four centuries and would be impossible to quantify. Even if we think reparations are owed, it seems impossible to settle who should pay, and who should receive them. But before we give in to the impulse to throw up our hands, let’s see if we can alleviate our sense of hopelessness by distinguishing components of the challenge injustices pose—the metaphysical, epistemic, and pragmatic dimensions to the question of how to address them.