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  1. Richard J. Arneson (2000). Luck Egalitarianism and Prioritarianism. Ethics 110 (2):339-349.
    In her recent, provocative essay “What Is the Point of Equality?”, Elizabeth Anderson argues against a common ideal of egalitarian justice that she calls “luck egalitarianism” and in favor of an approach she calls “democratic equality.”1 According to the luck egalitarian, the aim of justice as equality is to eliminate so far as is possible the impact on people’s lives of bad luck that falls on them through no fault or choice of their own. In the ideal luck egalitarian society, (...)
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  2. Richard J. Arneson (1999). Egalitarianism and Responsibility. Journal of Ethics 3 (3):225-247.
    This essay examines several possible rationales for the egalitarian judgment that justice requires better-off individuals to help those who are worse off even in the absence of social interaction. These rationales include equality (everyone should enjoy the same level of benefits), moral meritocracy (each should get benefits according to her responsibility or deservingness), the threshold of sufficiency (each should be assured a minimally decent quality of life), prioritarianism (a function of benefits to individuals should be maximized that gives priority to (...)
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  3. Campbell Brown (2007). Prioritarianism for Variable Populations. Philosophical Studies 134 (3):325 - 361.
    Philosophical discussions of prioritarianism, the view that we ought to give priority to those who are worse off, have hitherto been almost exclusively focused on cases involving a fixed population. The aim of this paper is to extend the discussion of prioritarianism to encompass also variable populations. I argue that prioritarianism, in its simplest formulation, is not tenable in this area. However, I also propose several revised formulations that, so I argue, show more promise.
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  4. Roger Crisp (2003). Egalitarianism and Compassion. Ethics 114 (1):119-126.
  5. Dale Dorsey (2013). Equality-Tempered Prioritarianism. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (1):1470594-13483479.
    In this paper, I present and explore an alternative to a standard prioritarian axiology. Equality-tempered prioritarianism holds that the value of welfare increases should be balanced against the value of equality. However, given that, under prioritarianism, the value of marginal welfare benefits decreases as the welfare of beneficiaries increases, equality-tempered prioritarianism holds that the intrinsic value of equality will be sufficient to alter a prioritarian verdict only in cases in which welfare benefits are granted to the very well-off. I argue (...)
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  6. Marc Fleurbaey & Alex Voorhoeve (2012). Egalitarianism and the Separateness of Persons. Utilitas 24 (3):381-398.
    The difference between the unity of the individual and the separateness of persons requires that there be a shift in the moral weight that we accord to changes in utility when we move from making intrapersonal tradeoffs to making interpersonal tradeoffs. We examine which forms of egalitarianism can, and which cannot, account for this shift. We argue that a form of egalitarianism which is concerned only with the extent of outcome inequality cannot account for this shift. We also argue that (...)
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  7. Nicole Hassoun (2009). Meeting Need. Utilitas 21 (3):250-275.
    This paper considers the question ‘How should institutions enable people to meet their needs in situations where there is no guarantee that all needs can be met?’ After considering and rejecting several simple principles for meeting needs, it suggests a new effectiveness principle that 1) gives greater weight to the needs of the less well off and 2) gives weight to enabling a greater number of people to meet their needs. The effectiveness principle has some advantage over the main competitors (...)
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  8. D. Clayton Hubin (1980). Minimizing Maximin. Philosophical Studies 37 (4):363 - 372.
    In A Theory of Justice, John Rawls provides several arguments contractors in the original position using maximin reasoning, which leads directly to the difference principle. These arguments are inadequate to support the claim that maximin reasoning is the uniquely rational approach to choice in the original position.
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  9. Michael Huemer (2012). Against Equality and Priority. Utilitas 24 (04):483-501.
    -/- I start from three premises, roughly as follows: (1) that if possible world x is better than world y for every individual who exists in either world, then x is better than y; (2) that if x has a higher average utility, a higher total utility, and no more inequality than y, then x is better than y; (3) that better than is transitive. From these premises, it follows that benefits given to the worse off contribute no more to (...)
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  10. Karsten Klint Jensen (2003). What is the Difference Between (Moderate) Egalitarianism and Prioritarianism? Economics and Philosophy 19 (1):89-109.
    It is common to define egalitarianism in terms of an inequality ordering, which is supposed to have some weight in overall evaluations of outcomes. Egalitarianism, thus defined, implies that levelling down makes the outcome better in respect of reducing inequality; however, the levelling down objection claims there can be nothing good about levelling down. The priority view, on the other hand, does not have this implication. This paper challenges the common view. The standard definition of egalitarianism implicitly assumes a context. (...)
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  11. Klemens Kappel (1997). Equality, Priority, and Time. Utilitas 9 (02):203-.
    The lifetime equality view (the view that it is good if people's lives on the whole are equally worth living) has recently been met with the objection that it does not rule out simultaneous inequality: two persons may lead equally good lives on the whole and yet there may at any time be great differences in their level of well-being. And simultaneous inequality, it is held, ought to be a concern of egalitarians. The paper discusses this and related objections to (...)
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  12. Carl Knight (2013). The Injustice of Discrimination. South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):47-59.
    Discrimination might be considered unjust on account of the comparative disadvantage it imposes, the absolute disadvantage it imposes, the disrespect it shows, or the prejudice it shows. This article argues that each of these accounts overlooks some cases of unjust discrimination. In response to this state of affairs we might combine two or more of these accounts. A promising approach combines the comparative disadvantage and absolute disadvantage accounts.
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  13. Carl Knight (2009). Describing Equality. Law and Philosophy 28 (4):327 - 365.
    This articles proposes that theories and principles of distributive justice be considered substantively egalitarian iff they satisfy each of three conditions: (1) they consider the bare fact that a person is in certain circumstances to be a conclusive reason for placing another relevantly identically entitled person in the same circumstances, except where this conflicts with other similarly conclusive reasons arising from the circumstances of other persons; (2) they can be stated as 'equality of x for all persons', making no explicit (...)
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  14. Matthew Lister (2012). Review of Carl Knight, Luck Egalitarianism. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (1):127-30.
  15. David McCarthy (2013). Risk-Free Approaches to the Priority View. Erkenntnis 78 (2):421-449.
    Parfit advertised the priority view as a new and fundamental theory in the ethics of distribution. He never discusses risk, and many writers follow suit when discussing the priority view. This article formalizes two popular arguments for a commonly accepted risk-free definition of the priority view. One is based on a direct attempt to define the priority view, the other is based on a contrast with utilitarianism and egalitarianism. But neither argument succeeds, and more generally, it is not possible to (...)
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  16. David McCarthy (2008). Utilitarianism and Prioritarianism II. Economics and Philosophy 24 (1):1-33.
    A natural formalization of the priority view is presented which results from adding expected utility theory to the main ideas of the priority view. The result is ex post prioritarianism. But ex post prioritarianism entails that in a world containing just one person, it is sometimes better for that person to do what is strictly worse for herself. This claim may appear to be implausible. But the deepest objection to ex post prioritarianism has to do with meaning: ex post prioritarianism (...)
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  17. David McCarthy (2006). Utilitarianism and Prioritarianism I. Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):335-363.
    Utilitarianism and prioritarianism make a strong assumption about the uniqueness of measures of how good things are for people, or for short, individual goodness measures. But it is far from obvious that the presupposition is correct. The usual response to this problem assumes that individual goodness measures are determined independently of our discourse about distributive theories. This article suggests reversing this response. What determines the set of individual goodness measures just is the body of platitudes we accept about distributive theories. (...)
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  18. Michael McFall (2009). Licensing Parents: Family, State, and Child Maltreatment. Rowman and Littlefield.
    In Licensing Parents, Michael McFall argues that political structures, economics, education, racism, and sexism are secondary in importance to the inequality caused by families, and that the family plays the primary role in a child's acquisition of a sense of justice. He demonstrates that examination of the family is necessary in political philosophy and that informal structures (families) and considerations (character formation) must be taken seriously. McFall advocates a threshold that should be accepted by all political philosophers: children should not (...)
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  19. Dennis Mckerlie (1994). Equality and Priority. Utilitas 6 (01):25-.
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  20. O. F. Norheim (2009). A Note on Brock: Prioritarianism, Egalitarianism and the Distribution of Life Years. Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (9):565-569.
    The moral philosopher Dan Brock has argued that equality of health outcomes “even if achievable” is problematic as a goal in its own right—because it is open to the levelling down objection. The levelling down objection to egalitarianism has received surprisingly little attention in the bioethics literature on distribution of health and healthcare and deserves more attention. This paper discusses and accepts an example given by Brock showing that prioritarianism and egalitarianism may judge distributions of health outcomes differently. We should (...)
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  21. Martin O'Neill (2012). Priority, Preference and Value. Utilitas 24 (03):332-348.
    This article seeks to defend prioritarianism against a pair of challenges from Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve. Otsuka and Voorhoeve first argue that prioritarianism makes implausible recommendations in one-person cases under conditions of risk, as it fails to allow that it is reasonable to act to maximize expected utility, rather than expected weighted benefits, in such cases. I show that, in response, prioritarians can either reject Otsuka and Voorhoeve's claim, by means of appealing to a distinction between personal and impersonal (...)
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  22. Peter Olsthoorn, Myriame Bollen & Robert Beeres (2013). Dual Loyalties in Military Medical Care – Between Ethics and Effectiveness. In Herman Amersfoort, Rene Moelker, Joseph Soeters & Desiree Verweij (eds.), Moral Responsibility & Military Effectiveness. Asser.
  23. Michael Otsuka & Alex Voorhoeve (2009). Why It Matters That Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument Against the Priority View. Philosophy and Public Affairs 37 (2):171-199.
  24. Derek Parfit (1997). Equality and Priority. Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
    This is a difficult choice on any view. To make it a test for the value of equality, I want to suppose that the case has the following feature: the gain to the first child of moving to the suburb is substantially greater than the gain to the second child of moving to the city.
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  25. Ingmar Persson (2011). Prioritarianism, Levelling Down and Welfare Diffusion. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):307-311.
    I have earlier argued that, like egalitarianism, prioritarianism is exposed to the levelling down objection—which I do not find serious—but also that it faces related, more serious objections that egalitarianism avoids. In this paper I reply to Thomas Porter’s attempt to rebut this argument. I also trace the more serious objections to prioritarianism to the fact that it implies the desirability of welfare diffusion, i.e. that it is better all things considered if a quantity of welfare is distributed over as (...)
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  26. Ingmar Persson (2008). Why Levelling Down Could Be Worse for Prioritarianism Than for Egalitarianism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):295 - 303.
    Derek Parfit has argued that, in contrast to prioritarianism, egalitarianism is exposed to the levelling down objection, i.e., the objection that it is absurd that a change which consists merely in the betteroff losing some of their well-being should be in one way for the better. In reply, this paper contends that (1) there is a plausible form of egalitarianism which is equivalent to another form of prioritarianism than the Parfitian one, a relational rather than an absolute form of prioritarianism, (...)
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  27. Thomas Porter (2012). In Defence of the Priority View. Utilitas 24 (03):349-364.
    In their paper ‘Why It Matters That Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument against the Priority View’, Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve argue that prioritarianism is mistaken. I argue that their case against prioritarianism has much weaker foundations than it might at first seem. Their key argument is based on the claim that prioritarianism ignores the fact of the ‘separateness of persons’. However, prioritarianism, far from ignoring that fact, is a plausible response to it. It may be that (...)
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  28. Thomas Porter (2011). Prioritarianism and the Levelling Down Objection. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):197-206.
    I discuss Ingmar Persson’s recent argument that the Levelling Down Objection could be worse for prioritarians than for egalitarians. Persson’s argument depends upon the claim that indifference to changes in the average prioritarian value of benefits implies indifference to changes in the overall prioritarian value of a state of affairs. As I show, however, sensible conceptions of prioritarianism have no such implication. Therefore prioritarians have nothing to fear from the Levelling Down Objection.
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  29. Wlodek Rabinowicz (2002). Prioritarianism for Prospects. Utilitas 14 (01):2-.
    The Interpersonal Addition Theorem, due to John Broome, states that, given certain seemingly innocuous assumptions, the overall utility of an uncertain prospect can be represented as the sum of its individual (expected) utilities. Given ‘Bernoulli's hypothesis’ according to which individual utility coincides with individual welfare, this result appears to be incompatible with the Priority View. On that view, due to Derek Parfit, the benefits to the worse off should count for more, in the overall evaluation, than the comparable benefits to (...)
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  30. Matthew Rendall (2013). Priority and Desert. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):939-951.
    Michael Otsuka, Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey have challenged the priority view in favour of a theory based on competing claims. The present paper shows how their argument can be used to recast the priority view. All desert claims in distributive justice are comparative. The stronger a party’s claims to a given benefit, the greater is the value of her receiving it. Ceteris paribus, the worse-off have stronger claims on welfare, and benefits to them matter more. This can account for (...)
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  31. Kyle Swan (2012). Republican Equality. Social Theory and Practice 38 (3):432-454.
    Philosophers attracted to the republican ideal of freedom as nondomination sometimes offer the thought that a state concerned to promote this ideal would be more committed to economic justice than a liberal state pursuing freedom as noninterference. The republican commitment to economic justice is more demanding and its provisions are more substantial. These philosophers overstate republican redistributive commitments. The state need only provide a basic set of capabilities in order to achieve the republican goal, and concerns about domination in society (...)
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  32. Alex Voorhoeve (2014). Review of Matthew D. Adler: Well-Being and Fair Distribution. Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis. [REVIEW] Social Choice and Welfare 42 (1):245-54.
    In this extended book review, I summarize Adler's views and critically analyze his key arguments on the measurement of well-being and the foundations of prioritarianism.
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  33. Alex Voorhoeve (2010). Prioriteit voor patienten met een lagere levenskwaliteit. Filosofie En Praktijk 31:40-51.
  34. Alex Voorhoeve & Marc Fleurbaey (2013). Decide As You Would With Full Information! An Argument Against Ex Ante Pareto. In Ole Norheim, Samia Hurst, Nir Eyal & Dan Wikler (eds.), Inequalities in Health: Concepts, Measures, and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    Policy-makers must sometimes choose between an alternative which has somewhat lower expected value for each person, but which will substantially improve the outcomes of the worst off, or an alternative which has somewhat higher expected value for each person, but which will leave those who end up worst off substantially less well off. The popular ex ante Pareto principle requires the choice of the alternative with higher expected utility for each. We argue that ex ante Pareto ought to be rejected (...)
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  35. Christopher Woodard, Enough of Enough.
    Prioritarianism itself is not committed to any particular claim about how moral importance decreases. It could decrease quickly or slowly, for example, and at a uniform or a variable rate. The defining feature of the view is just the claim that, somehow, moral importance decreases with the increasing advantage of the recipient.
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