Taking Risks Behind the Veil of Ignorance

Ethics 127 (3):610-644 (2017)
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Abstract

A natural view in distributive ethics is that everyone's interests matter, but the interests of the relatively worse off matter more than the interests of the relatively better off. I provide a new argument for this view. The argument takes as its starting point the proposal, due to Harsanyi and Rawls, that facts about distributive ethics are discerned from individual preferences in the "original position." I draw on recent work in decision theory, along with an intuitive principle about risk-taking, to derive the view.

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Lara Buchak
Princeton University

Citations of this work

Prioritarianism: A Response to Critics.Matthew D. Adler & Nils Holtug - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (2):101-144.
Should We Wish Well to All?Caspar Hare - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (4):451-472.

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References found in this work

Equality or Priority?Derek Parfit - 2002 - In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), The Ideal of Equality. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 81-125.
Morality and the Theory of Rational Behavior.John Harsanyi - 1977 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 44 (4):623-656.
Utilitarianism and Prioritarianism II.David McCarthy - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (1):1-33.

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