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Is There a Paradox of Moral Complaint?




Do victims of moral wrongdoing have moral grounds to complain if they have freely committed a similar wrongdoing in the past? This question explores the connection between the moral standing of complainers and their previous deeds. According to Saul Smilansky two equally justifiable competing views create an antinomy with respect to the said question. In this article I present two arguments that attempt to undermine Smilansky's alleged paradox, presenting it as no more than a resolvable moral conflict. My first argument attempts to resolve the conflict in cases where the complaining wrongdoers have already been sanctioned for their past transgression. My second argument challenges the validity of the alleged paradox, based on an alternative explanation of the seemingly paradoxical moral results.

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  • Shaham, Talia, 2011. "Is There a Paradox of Moral Complaint?," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(03), pages 344-351, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:23:y:2011:i:03:p:344-351_00

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