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  1. Richard Arneson, Egalitarianism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  2. Campbell Brown (2005). Matters of Priority. Dissertation, Australian National University
  3. Campbell Brown (2003). Giving Up Levelling Down. Economics and Philosophy 19 (1):111-134.
  4. Thomas Christiano & Will Braynen (2008). Inequality, Injustice and Levelling Down. Ratio 21 (4):392-420.
    The levelling down objection is the most serious objection to the principle of equality, but we think it can be conclusively defeated. It is serious because it pits the principle of equality squarely against the welfares of the persons whose welfares or resources are equalized. It suggests that there is something perverse about the principle of equality. In this paper, we argue that levelling down is not an implication of the principle of equality. To show this we offer a defence (...)
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  5. Roger Crisp (2003). Egalitarianism and Compassion. Ethics 114 (1):119-126.
    In "Egalitarianism Defended," Larry Temkin attempted to rebut criticisms of egalitarianism I had made in my article, "Equality, Priority, and Compassion." Temkin's response is interesting and illuminating, but, in this article, I shall claim that his arguments miss their target and that the failure of egalitarianism may have implications more serious than some have thought.
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  6. Roger Crisp (2003). Equality, Priority, and Compassion. Ethics 113 (4):745-763.
    In recent years there has been a good deal of discussion of equality’s place in the best account of distribution or distributive justice. One central question has been whether egalitarianism should give way to a principle requiring us to give priority to the worse off. In this article, I shall begin by arguing that the grounding of equality is indeed insecure and that the priority principle appears to have certain advantages over egalitarianism. But I shall then claim that the priority (...)
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  7. Brett Doran (2001). Reconsidering the Levelling-Down Objection Against Egalitarianism. Utilitas 13 (01):65-.
    The levelling-down objection rejects the egalitarian view that it is intrinsically good to eliminate the inequality of an outcome by lowering the relevant good of those better off to the level of those worse off. Larry Temkin suggests that the position underlying this objection is an exclusionary version of the person-affecting view, in which an outcome can be better or worse only if persons are affected for better or worse. Temkin then defends egalitarianism by rejecting this position. In this essay, (...)
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  8. 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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  9. Iwao Hirose, Equality, Priority, and Aggregation.
    In this dissertation, I discuss two distributive principles in moral philosophy: Derek Parfit's Prioritarianism and Egalitarianism. I attempt to defend a version of Egalitarianism, which I call Weighted Egalitarianism. Although Parfit claims that Egalitarianism is subject to what he calls the Levelling Down Objection, I show (a) that my proposed Weighted Egalitarianism is not subject to the Objection, and (b) that it gives priority to the worse off people. The real difference between the two principles lies in how the weight (...)
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  10. Nils Holtug (2007). A Note on Conditional Egalitarianism. Economics and Philosophy 23 (1):45-63.
    Roughly, according to conditional egalitarianism, equality is non-instrumentally valuable, but only if it benefits at least one individual. Some political theorists have argued that conditional egalitarianism has the important virtue that it allows egalitarians to avoid the so-called objection. However, in the present article I argue that conditional egalitarianism does not offer the egalitarian a plausible escape route from this objection. First, I explain the levelling down objection and suggest some particular concerns from which it derives its force. Then I (...)
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  11. Nils Holtug (1998). Egalitarianism and the Levelling Down Objection. Analysis 58 (2):166–174.
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  12. 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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  13. Matthew Lister (2012). Review of Carl Knight, Luck Egalitarianism. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (1):127-30.
  14. Andrew Mason (2001). Egalitarianism and the Levelling Down Objection. Analysis 61 (3):246–254.
    In an important piece of work Derek Parfit distinguishes two different forms of egalitarianism, ‘Deontic’ and ‘Telic’ (Parfit 1995; see also Parfit 1997). He contrasts these with what he calls the Priority View, which is not strictly a form of egalitarianism at all, since it is not essentially concerned with how well off people are relative to each other. His main aim is to generate an adequate taxonomy of the positions available, but in the process he draws attention to some (...)
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  15. David McCarthy (forthcoming). The Structure of Good. Oxford University Press.
  16. David McCarthy (forthcoming). Distributive Equality. Mind.
    Egalitarians think that equality in the distribution of goods somehow matters. But what exactly is egalitarianism? This article argues for a characterization based on novel principles essentially involving risk. The characterization is used to resolve disputed questions about egalitarianism, such as its compatibility with strong separability and its relation to other distributive theories. But egalitarianism is subject to a particularly severe form of the levelling down objection, and is claimed to be false.
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  17. David McCarthy (forthcoming). Distributive Equality. Mind.
    Egalitarians think that equality in the distribution of goods somehow matters. But what exactly is egalitarianism? This article argues for a characterization based on novel principles essentially involving risk. The characterization is used to resolve disputed questions about egalitarianism, such as its compatibility with strong separability and its relation to other distributive theories. But egalitarianism is subject to a particularly severe form of the levelling down objection, and is claimed to be false.
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  18. Donovan Miyasaki (forthcoming). (2014) A Nietzschean Case for Egalitarianism. In Barry Stocker & Manuel Knoll (eds.), Nietzsche as Political Philosopher. Walter de Gruyter.
    This paper draws on Friedrich Nietzsche’s work to defend the (admittedly non-Nietzschean) conclusion that a non-liberal egalitarian society is superior in two ways: first, as a moral ideal, it does not rest on questionable claims about essential human equality and, second, such a society would provide the optimal psychological and political conditions for individual wellbeing, social stability, and cultural achievement. I first explain Nietzsche’s distinction between forms of egalitarianism: noble and slavish. The slavish form promotes equality, defined negatively as the (...)
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  19. 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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  20. Derek Parfit (2012). Another Defence of the Priority View. Utilitas 24 (03):399-440.
    This article discusses the relation between prioritarian and egalitarian principles, whether and why we need to appeal to both kinds of principle, how prioritarians can answer various objections, especially those put forward by Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve, the moral difference between cases in which our acts could affect only one person or two or more people, veil of ignorance contractualism and utilitarianism, what prioritarians should claim about cases in which the effects of our acts are uncertain, the relative moral (...)
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  21. Derek Parfit (1997). Equality and Priority. Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
  22. Derek Parfit (1991). Equality or Priority? In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), 1991 Lindley Lecture; 2000 reprinted in The Ideal of Equality. Macmillan. 81-125.
  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. Marc Ramsay (2005). Teleological Egalitarianism Vs. The Slogan. Utilitas 17 (1):93-116.
    The Slogan holds that one situation cannot be worse (or better) than another unless there is someone for whom it is worse (or better). This principle appears to provide the basis for the levelling-down objection to teleological egalitarianism. Larry Temkin, however, argues that the Slogan is not a plausible moral ideal, since it stands against not just teleological egalitarianism, but also values such as freedom, rights, autonomy, virtue and desert. I argue that the Slogan is a plausible moral principle, one (...)
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  26. Max Seeger (2011). A Critique of the Incentives Argument for Inequalities. Kriterion 25 (1):40-52.
    According to the incentives argument, inequalities in material goods are justifiable if they are to the benefit of the worst off members of society. In this paper, I point out what is easily overlooked, namely that inequalities are justifiable only if they are to the overall benefit of the worst off, that is, in terms of both material and social goods. I then address the question how gains in material goods can be weighed against probable losses in social goods. The (...)
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  27. Re'em Segev (2009). Second-Order Equality and Levelling Down. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):425 – 443.
    Many think that equality is an intrinsic value. However, this view, especially when based on a consequential foundation, faces familiar objections related to the claim that equality is sometimes good for none and bad for some: most notably the levelling down objection. This article explores a unique (consequential) conception of equality, as part of a more general conception of fairness concerning the resolution of interpersonal conflicts, which is not exposed to these objections.
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  28. Yingying Tang & Lei Zhong (2013). Toward a Demystification of Egalitarianism. Philosophical Forum 44 (2):149-163.
    The opponents of egalitarianism insist that distributional equality can never have intrinsic value, because it is hard to find how equal distribution could benefit people intrinsically. In this paper, we attempt to demystify the intrinsic value of distributional equality and suggest a possible direction of vindicating egalitarianism. First, we propose the principle that it is (epistemically) reasonable to regard x as an intrinsic value for a person S if S rationally desires x for its own sake. Second, we argue by (...)
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  29. Larry Temkin (2000). Equality, Priority, and the Levelling-Down Objection. In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), The Ideal of Equality. Macmillan. 126-61.
  30. Larry S. Temkin (2003). Egalitarianism Defended. Ethics 113 (4):764-782.
    In "Equality, Priority, and Compassion," Roger Crisp rejects both egalitarianism and prioritarianism. Crisp contends that our concern for those who are badly off is best accounted for by appealing to "a sufficiency principle" based -- indirectly, via the notion of an impartial spectator -- on compassion for those who are badly off" (p. 745). A key example of Crisp's is the Beverly Hills case (discussed below). This example is directed against prioritarianism, but it also threatens egalitarianism. In this article, I (...)
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  31. Larry S. Temkin (2003). Equality, Priority or What? Economics and Philosophy 19 (1):61-87.
    This paper aims to illuminate some issues in the equality, priority, or what debate. I characterize egalitarianism and prioritarianism, respond to the view that we should care about sufficiency or compassion rather than equality or priority, discuss the levelling down objection, and illustrate the significance of the distinction between prioritarianism and egalitarianism, establishing that the former is no substitute for the latter. In addition, I respond to Bertil Tungodden's views regarding the Slogan, the levelling down objection, the Pareto Principle, leximin, (...)
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