The equality of lotteries

Philosophy 83 (3):359-372 (2008)
Ben Saunders
University of Southampton
Lotteries have long been used to resolve competing claims, yet their recent implementation to allocate school places in Brighton and Hove, England led to considerable public outcry. This article argues that, given appropriate selection is impossible when parties have equal claims, a lottery is preferable to an auction because it excludes unjust influences. Three forms of contractualism are discussed and the fairness of lotteries is traced to the fact that they give each person an equal chance, as a surrogate for their equal claim to the good. It is argued that this can be a reason to favour an artificially-constructed lottery to a 'natural' lottery where there is suspicion that the latter may be biased
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819108000727
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A Defence of Weighted Lotteries in Life Saving Cases.Ben Saunders - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (3):279-290.
Fairness Between Competing Claims.Ben Saunders - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (1):41-55.
Justice and Chances.Re'em Segev - 2018 - Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (2):315-333.

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