Rethinking the Principle of Fair Play

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 4 (99):612-631 (2018)
Authors
Justin Tosi
Texas Tech University
Abstract
The principle of fair play is widely thought to require simply that costs and benefits be distributed fairly. This gloss on the principle, while not entirely inaccurate, has invited a host of popular objections based on misunderstandings about fair play. Central to many of these objections is a failure to treat the principle of fair play as a transactional principle—one that allocates special obligations and rights among persons as a result of their interactions. I offer an interpretation of the principle of fair play that emphasizes its similarities to another transactional principle: consent. This interpretation reveals that playing fair requires one to reciprocate specifically by following the rules of the cooperative scheme from which one benefits, just as consent requires one to act according to the terms of an agreement. I then draw on the comparison with consent to reply to some popular and persistent objections to the principle.
Keywords fairness  special obligations  consent  Hart  free-riding  legitimacy  political obligation  Simmons  moral principles  transactional principles
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DOI 10.1111/papq.12219
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References found in this work BETA

A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - 1971 - Harvard University Press.
Justice for Hedgehogs.Ronald Dworkin - 2011 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Concept of Law.H. L. A. Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
Collected Papers.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.

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