Why levelling down could be worse for prioritarianism than for egalitarianism

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (3):295 - 303 (2008)
Abstract
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, and that (2), although this relational or egalitarian form of prioritarianism is hit by the levelling down objection, the Parfitian form is also hit by it, or worse objections, if it is fully worked out.
Keywords Derek Parfit  Egalitarianism  Equality  Justice  Levelling down objection  Prioritarianism  Priority to the worse-off
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Citations of this work BETA
Thomas Porter (2011). Prioritarianism and the Levelling Down Objection. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):197-206.
Matthew Rendall (2013). Priority and Desert. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):939-951.
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