Reparations for slavery have become a reinvigorated topic for public debate over the last decade. Most theorizing about reparations treats it as a social justice project—either rooted in reconciliatory justice focused on making amends in the present, or they focus on the past, emphasizing restitution for historical wrongs. Taiwo will argue that neither approach is optimal, and advances a different case for reparations: one rooted in a hopeful future that tackles the issue of climate change head-on, with distributive justice at its core.
This "constructive" view argues that reparations should be seen as a future-oriented project engaged in building a better social order and that the costs of building a more equitable world should be distributed more to those who have inherited the moral liabilities of past injustices.
About the speaker: Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. His research and teaching focuses on social/political philosophy and ethics. His book Reconsidering Reparations (Oxford University Press, November 2021) considers a case for reparations linked to climate justice.