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  1. The Priority View Bites the Dust?Andrew Williams - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (3):315-331.
    This article distinguishes between a telic and a deontic version of Derek Parfit's influential Priority View. Employing the distinction, it shows that the existence of variations in how intrapersonal and interpersonal conflicts should be resolved fails to provide a compelling case in favour of relational egalitarianism and against all pure versions of the Priority View. In addition, the article argues that those variations are better understood as providing counterevidence to certain distribution-sensitive versions of consequentialism.
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  • Priority or Equality for Possible People?Alex Voorhoeve & Marc Fleurbaey - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):929-954.
    Suppose that you must make choices that may influence the well-being and the identities of the people who will exist, though not the number of people who will exist. How ought you to choose? This paper answers this question. It argues that the currency of distributive ethics in such cases is a combination of an individual’s final well-being and her expected well-being conditional on her existence. It also argues that this currency should be distributed in an egalitarian, rather than a (...)
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  • Egalitarianism Under Severe Uncertainty.Thomas Rowe & Alex Voorhoeve - 2018 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (3):239-268.
    Decision-makers face severe uncertainty when they are not in a position to assign precise probabilities to all of the relevant possible outcomes of their actions. Such situations are common—novel medical treatments and policies addressing climate change are two examples. Many decision-makers respond to such uncertainty in a cautious manner and are willing to incur a cost to avoid it. There are good reasons for taking such an uncertainty-averse attitude to be permissible. However, little work has been done to incorporate it (...)
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  • Another Defence of the Priority View.Derek Parfit - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (3):399-440.
    This article discusses the relation between prioritarian and egalitarian principles, whether and why we need to appeal to both kinds of principle, how prioritarians can answer various objections, especially those put forward by Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve, the moral difference between cases in which our acts could affect only one person or two or more people, veil of ignorance contractualism and utilitarianism, what prioritarians should claim about cases in which the effects of our acts are uncertain, the relative moral (...)
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  • Prioritarianism and the Separateness of Persons.Michael Otsuka - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (3):365-380.
    For a prioritarian by contrast to a utilitarian, whether a certain quantity of utility falls within the boundary of one person's life or another's makes the following moral difference: the worse the life of a person who could receive a given benefit, the stronger moral reason we have to confer this benefit on this person. It would seem, therefore, that prioritarianism succeeds, where utilitarianism fails, to ‘take seriously the distinction between persons’. Yet I show that, contrary to these appearances, prioritarianism (...)
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  • Prioritarianism and the Measure of Utility.Michael Otsuka - 2015 - Journal of Political Philosophy 23 (1):1-22.
    I argue that prioritarianism cannot be assessed in abstraction from an account of the measure of utility. Rather, the soundness of this view crucially depends on what counts as a greater, lesser, or equal increase in a person’s utility. In particular, prioritarianism cannot accommodate a normatively compelling measure of utility that is captured by the axioms of John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern’s expected utility theory. Nor can it accommodate a plausible and elegant generalization of this theory that has been (...)
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  • Reply to Crisp.Michael Otsuka & Alex Voorhoeve - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):109-114.
    In 'Why It Matters that Some Are Worse off than Others,' we offer a new critique of the Priority View. In a recent article, Roger Crisp has argued that our critique is flawed. In this reply, we show that Crisp fails to grapple with, much less defeat, the central claim of our critique. We also show that an example that Crisp offers in support of the Priority View in fact lends support to our critique of that view.
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  • How to Be an Ex-Post Egalitarian and an Ex-Ante Paretian.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):550-558.
    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, (...)
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  • Utilitarianism and Prioritarianism II.David McCarthy - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (1):1-33.
    A natural formalization of the priority view is presented which results from adding expected utility theory to the main ideas of the priority view. The result is ex post prioritarianism. But ex post prioritarianism entails that in a world containing just one person, it is sometimes better for that person to do what is strictly worse for herself. This claim may appear to be implausible. But the deepest objection to ex post prioritarianism has to do with meaning: ex post prioritarianism (...)
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  • The Priority View.David McCarthy - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (2):215–57.
    According to the priority view, or prioritarianism, it matters more to benefit people the worse off they are. But how exactly should the priority view be defined? This article argues for a highly general characterization which essentially involves risk, but makes no use of evaluative measurements or the expected utility axioms. A representation theorem is provided, and when further assumptions are added, common accounts of the priority view are recovered. A defense of the key idea behind the priority view, the (...)
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  • Broome on Fairness and Lotteries.Hugh Lazenby - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (4):331-345.
    John Broome argues that when all claims cannot be perfectly fairly satisfied in outcome, the contribution to fairness from entering claims into a lottery, and so providing them some surrogate satisfaction, ought to be weighed against, and can outweigh, what fairness can be achieved directly in outcome. I argue that this is a mistake. Instead, I suggest that any contribution to fairness from entering claims into a lottery is lexically posterior to fairness in outcome.
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  • Restricted Prioritarianism or Competing Claims?Benjamin Lange - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (2):137-152.
    I here settle a recent dispute between two rival theories in distributive ethics: Restricted Prioritarianism and the Competing Claims View. Both views mandate that the distribution of benefits and burdens between individuals should be justifiable to each affected party in a way that depends on the strength of each individual’s separately assessed claim to receive a benefit. However, they disagree about what elements constitute the strength of those individuals’ claims. According to restricted prioritarianism, the strength of a claim is determined (...)
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  • Antiprioritarianism.Hilary Greaves - 2015 - Utilitas 27 (1):1-42.
    Prioritarianism is supposed to be a theory of the overall good that captures the common intuition of . But it is difficult to give precise content to the prioritarian claim. Over the past few decades, prioritarians have increasingly responded to this by formulating prioritarianism not in terms of an alleged primitive notion of quantity of well-being, but instead in terms of von NeumannPrimitivistTechnicalpriority to the worse offMorgenstern utility is a retrograde step.
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  • Contractualism and Social Risk.Johann Frick - 2015 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 43 (3):175-223.
  • Egalitarianism and the Separateness of Persons.Alex Voorhoeve & Marc Fleurbaey - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (3):381-398.
    The difference between the unity of the individual and the separateness of persons requires that there be a shift in the moral weight that we accord to changes in utility when we move from making intrapersonal tradeoffs to making interpersonal tradeoffs. We examine which forms of egalitarianism can, and which cannot, account for this shift. We argue that a form of egalitarianism which is concerned only with the extent of outcome inequality cannot account for this shift. We also argue that (...)
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  • In Defence of the Priority View: A Response to Otsuka and Voorhoeve.Roger Crisp - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):105-108.
  • Equality Versus Priority: A Useful Distinction.John Broome - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (2):219-228.
    :Both egalitarianism and prioritarianism give value to equality. Prioritarianism has an additively separable value function whereas egalitarianism does not. I show that in some cases prioritarianism and egalitarianism necessarily have different implications: I describe two alternatives G and H such that egalitarianism necessarily implies G is better than H whereas prioritarianism necessarily implies G and H are equally good. I also raise a doubt about the intelligibility of prioritarianism.
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  • Concerns for the Poorly Off in Ordering Risky Prospects.Luc Bovens - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (3):397-429.
    The Distribution View provides a model that integrates four distributional concerns in the evaluation of risky prospects. Starting from these concerns, we can generate an ordering over a set of risky prospects, or, starting from an ordering, we can extract a characterization of the underlying distributional concerns. Separability of States and/or Persons for multiple-person risky prospects, for single-person risky prospects and for multiple-person certain prospects are discussed within the model. The Distribution View sheds light on public health policies and provides (...)
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  • Decide As You Would With Full Information! An Argument Against Ex Ante Pareto.Marc Fleurbaey & Alex Voorhoeve - 2013 - In Ole Norheim, Samia Hurst, Nir Eyal & Dan Wikler (eds.), Inequalities in Health: Concepts, Measures, and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    Policy-makers must sometimes choose between an alternative which has somewhat lower expected value for each person, but which will substantially improve the outcomes of the worst off, or an alternative which has somewhat higher expected value for each person, but which will leave those who end up worst off substantially less well off. The popular ex ante Pareto principle requires the choice of the alternative with higher expected utility for each. We argue that ex ante Pareto ought to be rejected (...)
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  • Equality Versus Priority.Michael Otsuka & Alex Voorhoeve - 2018 - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 65-85.
    We discuss two leading theories of distributive justice: egalitarianism and prioritarianism. We argue that while each has particular merits and shortcomings, egalitarian views more fully satisfy a key requirement of distributive justice: respect for both the unity of the individual and the separateness of persons.
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  • The Ethics of Making Risky Decisions for Others.Luc Bovens - 2019 - In Mark D. White (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics. Oxford University Press. pp. 446-473.
    Utilitarianism, it has been said, is not sensitive to the distribution of welfare. In making risky decisions for others there are multiple sensitivities at work. I present examples of risky decision-making involving drug allocations, charitable giving, breast-cancer screening and C-sections. In each of these examples there is a different sensitivity at work that pulls away from the utilitarian prescription. Instances of saving fewer people at a greater risk to many is more complex because there are two distributional sensitivities at work (...)
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  • Internal Consistency of Choice.Amartya Sen - 1993 - Econometrica 61:495–521.