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What is the point of equality?

Ethics 109 (2):287-337 (1999)

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  1. Democracy’s Value: A Conceptual Map.Elena Ziliotti - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (3):407-427.
    The justification of democracy, while widely debated, is hindered by a sub-optimal conceptual framework. For a start, there is confusion about the basic terms in the discussion. Many theorists claim to support either the ‘intrinsic’ or the ‘instrumental’ value of democracy, but it is unclear what this exactly means. Can democracy have other kinds of values? What does it mean to value democracy intrinsically? As a result, at certain points, scholars are talking past one another and their assessments of their (...)
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  • From Sufficient Health to Sufficient Responsibility.Ben Davies & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 17 (3):423-433.
    The idea of using responsibility in the allocation of healthcare resources has been criticized for, among other things, too readily abandoning people who are responsible for being very badly off. One response to this problem is that while responsibility can play a role in resource allocation, it cannot do so if it will leave those who are responsible below a “sufficiency” threshold. This paper considers first whether a view can be both distinctively sufficientarian and allow responsibility to play a role (...)
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  • A Closer Look at the Business Case for Diversity: The Tangled Web of Equity and Epistemic Benefits.Daniel Steel & Naseeb Bolduc - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (5):418-443.
    This article examines the business case for diversity, according to which diversity should be promoted because diverse groups outperform nondiverse groups. Philosophers who defend BCD usually...
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  • Reconsidering the Reciprocity Objection to Unconditional Basic Income.Andrew Lister - 2020 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (3):209-228.
    This article reconsiders the reciprocity objection to unconditional basic income based on the idea that reciprocity is not only a duty but a limiting condition on other duties. If the objection wer...
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  • The Points of Concepts: Their Types, Tensions, and Connections.Matthieu Queloz - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1122-1145.
    In the literature seeking to explain concepts in terms of their point, talk of ‘the point’ of concepts remains under-theorised. I propose a typology of points which distinguishes practical, evaluative, animating, and inferential points. This allows us to resolve tensions such as that between the ambition of explanations in terms of the points of concepts to be informative and the claim that mastering concepts requires grasping their point; and it allows us to exploit connections between types of points to understand (...)
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  • Beyond Sufficiency: G.A. Cohen's Community Constraint on Luck Egalitarianism.Benjamin D. King - 2018 - Kritike 12 (1):215-232.
    G. A. Cohen conceptualizes socialism as luck egalitarianism constrained by a community principle. The latter mitigates certain inequalities to achieve a shared common life. This article explores the plausibility of the community constraint on inequality in light of two related problems. First, if it is voluntary, it fails as a response to “the abandonment objection” to luck egalitarianism, as it would not guarantee imprudent people sufficient resources to avoid deprivation and to function as equal citizens in a democratic society. Contra (...)
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  • On the Significance of the Basic Structure: A Priori Baseline Views and Luck Egalitarianism.Robert Jubb - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (1):59-79.
    This paper uses the exploration of the grounds of a common criticism of luck egalitarianism to try and make an argument about both the proper subject of theorizing about justice and how to approach that subject. It draws a distinction between what it calls basic structure views and a priori baseline views, where the former take the institutional aspects of political prescriptions seriously and the latter do not. It argues that objections to luck egalitarianism on the grounds of its harshness (...)
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  • Genug Ist Genug? Zur Kritik Non-Egalitaristischer Konzeptionen der Bildungsgerechtigkeit.Johannes Drerup - 2015 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 2 (1):89-128.
    Vertreter non-egalitaristischer Konzeptionen der Bildungsgerechtigkeit ersetzen das klassische egalitaristische Votum für Gleichheit als intrinsischen Wert durch die Begründung von Schwellenkonzeptionen, die über Adäquatheits- und Suffizienzbedingungen angeben sollen, was als Kriterium für die Identifikation illegitimer Bildungsungleichheiten zu gelten hat und was nicht. Alle Ungleichheiten oberhalb einer fixierten Schwelle sind aus non-egalitaristischer Sicht normativ nicht von Belang. Dieser Fokus auf Mindestbedingungen, die gegeben sein müssen, damit Akteure in liberal-demokratischen Gesellschaften politisch partizipieren und ein gedeihliches Leben führen können, steht nicht nur in einem (...)
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  • A Case for Machine Ethics in Modeling Human-Level Intelligent Agents.Robert James M. Boyles - 2018 - Kritike 12 (1):182–200.
    This paper focuses on the research field of machine ethics and how it relates to a technological singularity—a hypothesized, futuristic event where artificial machines will have greater-than-human-level intelligence. One problem related to the singularity centers on the issue of whether human values and norms would survive such an event. To somehow ensure this, a number of artificial intelligence researchers have opted to focus on the development of artificial moral agents, which refers to machines capable of moral reasoning, judgment, and decision-making. (...)
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  • Better in Theory Than in Practise? Challenges When Applying the Luck Egalitarian Ethos in Health Care Policy.Joar Björk, Gert Helgesson & Niklas Juth - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (4):735-742.
    Luck egalitarianism, a theory of distributive justice, holds that inequalities which arise due to individuals’ imprudent choices must not, as a matter of justice, be neutralized. This article deals with the possible application of luck egalitarianism to the area of health care. It seeks to investigate whether the ethos of luck egalitarianism can be operationalized to the point of informing health care policy without straying from its own ideals. In the transition from theory to practise, luck egalitarianism encounters several difficulties. (...)
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  • Health, Priority to the Worse Off, and Time.Anders Herlitz - 2018 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (4):517-527.
    It is a common view that benefits to the worse off should be given priority when health benefits are distributed. This paper addresses how to understand who is worse off in this context when individuals are differently well off at different times. The paper argues that the view that this judgment about who is worse off should be based solely on how well off individuals are when their complete lives are considered (i.e. 'the complete lives view') is implausible in this (...)
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  • Drinking in the Last Chance Saloon: Luck Egalitarianism, Alcohol Consumption, and the Organ Transplant Waiting List.Andreas Albertsen - 2016 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 19 (2):325-338.
    The scarcity of livers available for transplants forces tough choices upon us. Lives for those not receiving a transplant are likely to be short. One large group of potential recipients needs a new liver because of alcohol consumption, while others suffer for reasons unrelated to their own behaviour. Should the former group receive lower priority when scarce livers are allocated? This discussion connects with one of the most pertinent issues in contemporary political philosophy; the role of personal responsibility in distributive (...)
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  • Global Justice, Capabilities Approach and Commercial Surrogacy in India.Sheela Saravanan - 2015 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 18 (3):295-307.
    Inequalities, ineffective governance, unclear surrogacy regulations and unethical practices make India an ideal environment for global injustice in the process of commercial surrogacy. This article aims to apply the ‘capabilities approach’ to find possibilities of global justice through human fellowship in the context of commercial surrogacy. I draw primarily on my research findings supplemented by other relevant empirical research and documentary films on surrogacy. The paper reveals inequalities and inadequate basic entitlements among surrogate mothers as a consequence of which they (...)
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  • Taking Health Needs Seriously: Against a Luck Egalitarian Approach to Justice in Health.Lasse Nielsen - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (3):407-416.
    In recent works, Shlomi Segall suggests and defends a luck egalitarian approach to justice in health. Concurring with G. A. Cohen’s mature position he defends the idea that people should be compensated for “brute luck”, i.e. the outcome of actions that it would be unreasonable to expect them to avoid. In his defense of the luck egalitarian approach he seeks to rebut the criticism raised by Norman Daniels that luck egalitarianism is in some way too narrow and in another too (...)
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  • Rethinking the Unfair Advantage Argument.Tena Thau - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport:1-19.
    Athletes who flout doping bans are generally thought to have gained an unfair advantage. In this paper, I critically examine this view. I begin by defending an effort-based account of desert in spo...
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  • Against Institutional Luck Egalitarianism.Rekha Nath - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (1):1-19.
    Kok-Chor Tan has recently defended a novel theory of egalitarian distributive justice, institutional luck egalitarianism (ILE). On this theory, it is unjust for institutions to favor some individuals over others based on matters of luck. Tan takes his theory to preserve the intuitive appeal of luck egalitarianism while avoiding what he regards as absurd implications that face other versions of luck egalitarianism. Despite the centrality of the concept of institutional influence to his theory, Tan never spells out precisely what it (...)
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  • Offsetting Race Privilege.Jeremey Dunham & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-23.
    For all the talk there has been lately about privilege, few have commented on the moral obligations that are associated with having privilege. Those who have commented haven't gone much beyond the idea that the privileged should be conscious of their privilege, should listen to those who don't have it. Here we want to go further, and build an account of the moral obligations of those with a particular kind of privilege: race privilege. In this paper we articulate an understanding (...)
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  • Security and democratic equality.Brian Milstein - forthcoming - Contemporary Political Theory:1-22.
    After a recent spate of terrorist attacks in European and American cities, liberal democracies are reintroducing emergency securitarian measures that curtail rights and/or expand police powers. Political theorists who study ESMs are familiar with how such measures become instruments of discrimination and abuse, but the fundamental conflict ESMs pose for not just civil liberty but also democratic equality still remains insufficiently explored. Such phenomena are usually explained as a function of public panic or fear-mongering in times of crisis, but I (...)
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  • Are Workers Dominated?Tom O'Shea - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (1).
    This article undertakes a republican analysis of power in the workplace and labour market in order to determine whether workers are dominated by employers. Civic republicans usually take domination to be subjection to an arbitrary power to interfere with choice. But when faced with labour disputes over what choices it is normal for workers to make for themselves, these accounts of domination struggle to determine whether employers possess the power to interfere. I propose an alternative capabilitarian conception of domination as (...)
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  • Immigration Policy and Identification Across Borders.Matthew Lindauer - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (3):280-303.
    According to the traditional state sovereignty view in the ethics of immigration literature, societies have a great deal of latitude in determining and implementing their immigration policies. This view is typically defended by appealing to the rights of members of societies, for instance to political self-determination. Opponents of the view have often criticized its partiality to members, arguing that nonmembers can also make stringent demands on societies to be admitted and given the same treatment in matters of immigration policy as (...)
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  • Egalitarian Justice and Innocent Choice.Nir Eyal - 2006 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2 (1):1-19.
    This article argues that, in its standard formulation, luck-egalitarianism is false. In particular, I show that disadvantages that result from perfectly free choice can constitute egalitarian injustice. I also propose a modified formulation of luck-egalitarianism that would withstand my criticism. One merit of the modification is that it helps us to reconcile widespread intuitions about distributive justice with equally widespread intuitions about punitive justice.
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  • Ethics of the Attention Economy: The Problem of Social Media Addiction.Vikram R. Bhargava & Manuel Velasquez - forthcoming - Business Ethics Quarterly:1-39.
    Social media companies commonly design their platforms in a way that renders them addictive. Some governments have declared internet addiction a major public health concern, and the World Health Organization has characterized excessive internet use as a growing problem. Our article shows why scholars, policy makers, and the managers of social media companies should treat social media addiction as a serious moral problem. While the benefits of social media are not negligible, we argue that social media addiction raises unique ethical (...)
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  • Employee Involvement and Workplace Democracy.Roberto Frega - forthcoming - Business Ethics Quarterly:1-26.
    The article aims to bridge divides between political theory and management and organization studies in theorizing workplace democracy. To achieve this aim, the article begins by introducing a new definition of democracy which, it is contended, is better suited than mainstream accounts to highlight the democratizing potential of employee involvement. It then defines employee involvement as an offshoot of early twentieth-century humanistic psychologies, from which it inherits an emancipatory ambition. In a third step, the article presents employee involvement as a (...)
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  • What is Egalitarianism?Samuel Scheffler - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (1):5-39.
  • Educational Adequacy and Educational Equality: A Merging Proposal.Fernando de los Santos Menéndez - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.
  • Educational Adequacy and Educational Equality: A Merging Proposal.Fernando De-Los-Santos-Menéndez - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.
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  • Why We (Almost Certainly) Are Not Moral Equals.Stan Husi - 2017 - Journal of Ethics 21 (4):375-401.
    Faith in the universal moral equality of people enjoys close to unanimous consensus in present moral and political philosophy. Yet its philosophical justification remains precarious. The search for the basis of equality encounters insurmountable difficulties. Nothing short of a miracle seems required to stabilize universal equality in moral status amidst a vast space of distinctions sprawling between people. The difficulties of stabilizing equality against differentiation are not specific to any particular choice regarding the basis of equality. To show this, I (...)
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  • Is ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ Merely a Principle of Nondiscrimination?Jeffrey Moriarty - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (3):435-461.
    Should people who perform equal work receive equal pay? Most would say ‘yes’, at least insofar as this question is understood to be asking whether employers should be permitted to discriminate against employees on the basis of race or sex. But suppose the employees belong to all of the same traditionally protected groups. Is (what I call) nondiscriminatory unequal pay for equal work wrong? Drawing an analogy with price discrimination, I argue that it is not intrinsically wrong, but it can (...)
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  • What Do Business Executives Think About Distributive Justice?Susanne Burri, Daniela Lup & Alexander Pepper - forthcoming - Journal of Business Ethics:1-19.
    While there exist extensive literatures on both distributive justice and senior executive pay, and a number of authors have addressed the implications of high pay for distributive justice, the existing literature fails to address what senior executives themselves think about distributive justice and whether they consider high income inequalities to be morally acceptable. We address this gap by analysing a unique dataset comprising the views of over 1000 senior executives from across the world, which was constructed using a survey instrument (...)
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  • Material Scarcity and Scalar Justice.Matthew Adams & Ross Mittiga - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
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  • Egalitarianism and the Great Recession: A Tale of Missed Connections?Pietro Maffettone - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (2):237-256.
    The main aim of this paper is to act as a corrective to the comparatively deafening silence of egalitarian political philosophy’s response to the Great Recession. The paper thus provides an accessible analysis of a new strand of empirical research into the causes of the crisis. This new literature, which has largely gone unnoticed by the broader philosophical community, maintains that the main driver of financial instability is income and wealth inequality coupled with income stagnation at the bottom of the (...)
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  • Climate Change, Distributive Justice, and “Pre‐Institutional” Limits on Resource Appropriation.Colin Hickey - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper I argue that individuals are, prior to the existence of just institutions requiring that they do so, bound as a matter of global distributive justice to restrict their use, or share the benefits fairly of any use beyond their entitlements, of the Earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases (EAC) to within a specified justifiable range. As part of the search for an adequate account of climate morality, I approach the task by revisiting, and drawing inspiration from, two (...)
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  • Deliberative Democratic Equality.Travis Holmes - unknown
    In what follows, I consider two influential views about distributive justice: democratic equality and luck egalitarianism. In examining and criticizing these views, I attempt to extract elements from each of them for what I take to be important to building a complete conception of distributive justice. I then present and defend my own view, deliberative democratic equality, a view that can be described as a hybrid account of luck egalitarianism and democratic equality.
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  • Caster Semenya, Athlete Classification, and Fair Equality of Opportunity in Sport.Sigmund Loland - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (9):584-590.
    According to the Differences of Sex Development Regulations of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Caster Semenya and other athletes with heightened testosterone levels are considered non-eligible for middle distance running races in the women’s class. Based on an analysis of fair equality of opportunity in sport, I take a critical look at the Semenya case and at IAAF’s DSD Regulations. I distinguish between what I call stable and dynamic inequalities between athletes. Stable inequalities are those that athletes cannot impact (...)
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  • Dignitarian Medical Ethics.Linda Barclay - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (1):62-67.
    Philosophers and bioethicists are typically sceptical about invocations of dignity in ethical debates. Many believe that dignity is essentially devoid of meaning: either a mere rhetorical gesture used in the absence of good argument or a faddish term for existing values like autonomy and respect. On the other hand, the patient experience of dignity is a substantial area of research in healthcare fields like nursing and palliative care. In this paper, it is argued that philosophers have much to learn from (...)
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  • Against Lifetime QALY Prioritarianism.Anders Herlitz - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (2):109-113.
    Lifetime quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) prioritarianism has recently been defended as a reasonable specification of the prioritarian view that benefits to the worse off should be given priority in health-related priority setting. This paper argues against this view with reference to how it relies on implausible assumptions. By referring to lifetime QALY as the basis for judgments about who is worse off lifetime QALY prioritarianism relies on assumptions of strict additivity, atomism and intertemporal separability of sublifetime attributes. These assumptions entail that (...)
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  • Voluntary Sterilisation and Access to IVF in Québec.Katharine Browne - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2016-103726.
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  • Distributive Justice and the Harm to Medical Professionals Fighting Epidemics.Andreas Albertsen & Jens Damgaard Thaysen - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (12):861-864.
    The exposure of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to risks in the context of epidemics is significant. While traditional medical ethics offers the thought that these dangers may limit the extent to which a duty to care is applicable in such situations, it has less to say about what we might owe to medical professionals who are disadvantaged in these contexts. Luck egalitarianism, a responsibility-sensitive theory of distributive justice, appears to fare particularly badly in that regard. If we want (...)
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  • Health Incentive Research and Social Justice: Does the Risk of Long Term Harms to Systematically Disadvantaged Groups Bear Consideration?Verina Wild & Bridget Pratt - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (3):150-156.
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  • Solidarity, Justice and Unconditional Access to Healthcare.Anca Gheaus - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (3):177-181.
    Luck egalitarianism provides a reason to object to conditionality in health incentive programmes in some cases when conditionality undermines political values such as solidarity or inclusiveness. This is the case with incentive programmes that aim to restrict access to essential healthcare services. Such programmes undermine solidarity. Yet, most people's lives are objectively worse, in one respect, in non-solidary societies, because solidarity contributes both instrumentally and directly to individuals' well-being. Because solidarity is non-excludable, undermining it will deprive both the prudent and (...)
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  • What is Wrong with the Emergency Justification of Compulsory Medical Service?Eszter Kollar - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (8):560-561.
    Michael Blake holds that liberal states are precluded from introducing compulsory medical service to improve access to health care under conditions of critical health worker shortage. "Emergency circumstances" are the only exception when the suspension of liberty may be justified. I argue that there are three problems with Blake's emergency justification of compulsory service. First, his concept of emergency is vague. Second, his account does not really rely on emergency as much as liberty. Third, his conception of permissible restrictions of (...)
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  • Prostitution, Disability and Prohibition.Frej Klem Thomsen - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (6):451-459.
    Criminalisation of prostitution, and minority rights for disabled persons, are important contemporary political issues. The article examines their intersection by analysing the conditions and arguments for making a legal exception for disabled persons to a general prohibition against purchasing sexual services. It explores the badness of prostitution, focusing on and discussing the argument that prostitution harms prostitutes, considers forms of regulation and the arguments for and against with emphasis on a liberty-based objection to prohibition, and finally presents and analyses three (...)
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  • A Framework for Luck Egalitarianism in Health and Healthcare.Andreas Albertsen & Carl Knight - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2):165-169.
    Several attempts have been made to apply the choice-sensitive theory of distributive justice, luck egalitarianism, in the context of health and healthcare. This article presents a framework for this discussion by highlighting different normative decisions to be made in such an application, some of the objections to which luck egalitarians must provide answers and some of the practical implications associated with applying such an approach in the real world. It is argued that luck egalitarians should address distributions of health rather (...)
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  • The Ethics of a Smoking Licence.Daniel Halliday - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (5):278–284.
    In this paper, I am going to explore some of the moral considerations relating to smoking licences. And I shall offer a limited defence of licences as a replacement for sales tax on tobacco products. This defence will include some moral arguments in favour of one particular licence design over others.
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  • Personal Responsibility for Health as a Rationing Criterion: Why We Don't Like It and Why Maybe We Should.A. M. Buyx - 2008 - Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (12):871-874.
    Whether it is fair to use personal responsibility of patients for their own health as a rationing criterion in healthcare is a controversial matter. A host of difficulties are associated with the concept of personal responsibility in the field of medicine. These include, in particular, theoretical considerations of justice and such practical issues as multiple causal factors in medicine and freedom of health behaviour. In the article, personal responsibility is evaluated from the perspective of several theories of justice. It is (...)
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  • Rescuing Sufficientarianism From Itself.Adelin-Costin Dumitru - 2020 - South African Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):347-359.
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  • Moral Responsibility for (Un)Healthy Behaviour.Rebecca C. H. Brown - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (11):695-698.
    Combatting chronic, lifestyle-related disease has become a healthcare priority in the developed world. The role personal responsibility should play in healthcare provision has growing pertinence given the growing significance of individual lifestyle choices for health. Media reporting focussing on the ‘bad behaviour’ of individuals suffering lifestyle-related disease, and policies aimed at encouraging ‘responsibilisation’ in healthcare highlight the importance of understanding the scope of responsibility ascriptions in this context. Research into the social determinants of health and psychological mechanisms of health behaviour (...)
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  • Liberty or Death; Don't Tread on Me.Carwyn Hooper & John Spicer - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (6):338-341.
    Next SectionMany jurisdictions require cyclists to wear bicycle helmets. The UK is currently not one of these. However, an increasing number of interest groups, including the British Medical Association, want to change the status quo. They argue that mandatory cycle helmet laws will reduce the incidence of head injuries and that this will be both good for cyclists (because they will suffer fewer head injuries) and good for society (because the burden of having to treat cyclists suffering from head injuries (...)
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  • Making Sense of Age-Group Justice: A Time for Relational Equality?Juliana Bidadanure - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 15 (3):234-260.
    This article brings together two debates in contemporary political philosophy: on the one hand, the dispute between the distributive and relational approaches to equality and, on the other hand, the field of intergenerational equality. I offer an original contribution to the second domain and by doing so, I inform the first. The aim of this article is thus twofold: shedding some light on an under-researched and yet crucial question – ‘which inequalities between generations matter?’ and contributing to a far-reaching debate (...)
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  • Sufficiency and the Threshold Question.Robert Huseby - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (2):207-223.
    In this paper I address the objection to sufficientarianism posed by Paula Casal and Richard Arneson, that it is hard to conceive of a sufficiency threshold such that distribution is highly important just below it, and not required at all just above it. In order to address this objection, I elaborate on the idea that sufficientarianism structurally can be seen to require two separate thresholds, which may or may not overlap. I then argue that a version of such a view (...)
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