Why the intrinsic value of public goods matters

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-16 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Existing accounts of public-goods distribution rely on the existence of solidarity for providing non-universal public goods, such as the humanities or national parks. There are three fundamental problems with these accounts: they ignore instances of social fragmentation; they treat preferences for public goods as morally benign, and they assume that these preferences are the only relevant moral consideration. However, not all citizens unanimously require public goods such as the humanities or national parks. Public-goods distribution that is based only on citizens’ preferences, therefore, means that non-universal public good are at a constant risk of under-provision, and has negative implications for human flourishing. The paper, therefore, develops a complementary justification for the distribution of public goods, that decouples the distribution of public goods from ad hoc preferences, and grounds the distributive justification in the intrinsic value of these goods. There are three reasons to include intrinsic-value considerations in public-goods distribution: responding to crowding-out effects; promoting shared heritage and cross-fertilization. Finally, the intrinsic-value justification may indirectly promote solidarity. Thus, the intrinsic-value and the solidarity justifications need not be mutually exclusive, rather they can be mutually reinforcing.

Similar books and articles

Truth is not (Very) Intrinsically Valuable.Chase B. Wrenn - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1):108-128.
Categorizing Goods.Julie Tannenbaum - 2010 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Vol 5. Oxford University Press.
Public Health and Public Goods.Jonny Anomaly - 2011 - Public Health Ethics 4 (3):251-259.
Knowledge Matters: Institutional.Global Public Goods - 2012 - In Eric Brousseau, Tom Dedeurwaerdere & Bernd SiebenhĂĽner (eds.), Reflexive Governance for Global Public Goods. MIT Press.
The theory and politics of solidarity and public goods.Avigail Ferdman & Margaret Kohn - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-8.
Public Goods and Government Action.Jonny Anomaly - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (2):109-128.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-11-07

Downloads
201 (#64,045)

6 months
58 (#21,862)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Avigail Ferdman
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Inclusion and Democracy.Iris Marion Young - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
On Nationality.David Miller - 1995 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Perfectionism.Thomas Hurka - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

View all 23 references / Add more references