Reflection on the historical injustice suffered by many formerly colonized groups has left us with a peculiar account of their claims to material objects. One important upshot of that account, relevant to present day justice, is that many people seem to think that members of indigenous groups have special claims to the use of particular external objects by virtue of their attachment to them. In the first part of this paper I argue against that attachment-based claim. In the second part I suggest that, to provide a normatively defensible account of why sometimes agents who are attached to certain external objects might also have special claims over them, the most important consideration is whether the agents making such claims suffer from structural injustice in the present. In the third part I try to explain why structural injustice matters, in what way attachment-based claims relate to it and when they count.
The Journal of Practical Ethics is an open access journal in moral and political philosophy (and related areas), published by the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, located at the University of Oxford.
Our vision is to build an open access journal that will bring the best work in philosophy to bear on pressing issues of public, political or interdisciplinary interest. We believe that the ideas and arguments of many moral and political philosophers are of significant relevance to problems in contemporary life. Not only are these arguments of interest to a wide general public, but they are of relevance to many other academics, political and social leaders. However, there is less than optimal penetration of this philosophical work. It will aim to disseminate excellent research in practical and applied ethics to a broad, global audience comprised of both academic and non-academic readers, with high impact.
Every issue of the Journal of Practical Ethics is available online, free of charge. It is an invitation only, blind-peer-reviewed journal. It is entirely open access online, and print copies may be ordered at cost price via a print-on-demand service. Authors and reviewers are offered an honorarium. The Journal aims to bring the best in academic moral and political philosophy, applied to practical matters, to a broader student or interested public audience. It seeks to promote informed, rational debate, and is not tied to any one particular viewpoint. The Journal will present a range of views and conclusions within the analytic philosophy tradition. It is funded through the generous support of the Uehiro Foundation in Ethics and Education.