In defense of priority

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (4):343-364 (2015)

In a recent article, Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve argue that prioritarianism fails to account for the shift in moral significance in gains to individuals in interpersonal as compared to intrapersonal cases. In this article, I show that the priority view escapes this objection but in a way that deprives it of its anti-egalitarian stance. Despite Otsuka and Voorhoeve, prioritarianism, rightly understood, provides consistent and attractive recommendations in both single- and multi-person cases. Yet prioritarians, the article goes on to show, cannot do so while availing themselves of the leveling down objection to egalitarianism. They may not do so because similarly to egalitarianism, prioritarianism also must reject the principle of personal good. That is, egalitarians and prioritarians may sometime recommend certain actions and outcomes even when these are better for no one. Prioritarians may survive the Otsuka–Voorhoeve critique, but to do so they must abandon their anti-egalitarian stance
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DOI 10.1177/1470594X14550966
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References found in this work BETA

Another Defence of the Priority View.Derek Parfit - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (3):399-440.
What Should Egalitarians Believe?Martin O'neill - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (2):119-156.

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Citations of this work BETA

Prioritarianism: A Response to Critics.Matthew D. Adler & Nils Holtug - forthcoming - Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
Incas and Aliens: The Truth in Telic Egalitarianism.Shlomi Segall - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (1):1-19.

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