How to be an Ex-Post Egalitarian and an Ex-Ante Paretian

Analysis 77 (3):550-558 (2017)
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It is well known that there is a conflict between three intuitive principles for the evaluation of risky prospects in distributional contexts, Ex-Post Egalitarianism, Ex-Ante Pareto and Dominance. In this paper, I return to Peter Diamond’s suggestion that we reject Dominance as a principle of rationality in distributional contexts and present a new argument in support of this position. The argument is based on an observation regarding the right way for a distributor to weigh reasons for actions. In some cases, I argue, reasons for action that are grounded in the interests of one of the patients ought to be disregarded by the distributor. These cases share the following property: it is in the patient’s overall interest that the distributor disregards them. I show that Dominance does not permit distributors to disregard such reasons and use this observation to argue against the claim that Dominance is a principle of rationality in distributional contexts.



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Ittay Nissan-Rozen
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Contractualism and utilitarianism.Thomas M. Scanlon - 1982 - In Amartya Kumar Sen & Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (eds.), Utilitarianism and Beyond. Cambridge University Press. pp. 103--128.
Contractualism and Social Risk.Johann Frick - 2015 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 43 (3):175-223.

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