Journal of Social Philosophy 49 (2):315-333 (2018)

Authors
Re'em Segev
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Abstract
According to a common view, in a case involving an indivisible good and several potential beneficiaries, who are equal in every relevant respect, there is a non-instrumental reason to allocate the benefit in a way that gives each an equal chance to receive the benefit. In this paper, I argue that this view is incompatible with several plausible and widely held assumptions. I emphasize especially the assumption that the distributive role of chances is secondary to that of benefits in an important sense: the value of allocating chances is related to the ways in which it is possible to allocate the relevant benefits. Specifically, chances should be allocated only when it is impossible or too costly to allocate benefits in accordance with the relative importance of the reasons in favor of allocating the relevant benefit to each potential beneficiary. Given this assumption, I argue that the fact that there is no relation between the distributive concern for chances and other distributive concerns suggests that we should reject the view that chances have a distributive role that is not merely instrumental.
Keywords Justice  Chance  Probability  Well-being  Resources  Distribution
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DOI 10.1111/josp.12232
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References found in this work BETA

Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Equality and Priority.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
Equality as a Moral Ideal.Harry Frankfurt - 1987 - Ethics 98 (1):21-43.
Should the Numbers Count?John Taurek - 1977 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 6 (4):293-316.

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