If the global economy seems unfair, how should we understand what a fair global economy would be? What ideas of fairness, if any, apply, and what significance do they have for policy and law? Working within the social contract tradition, this book argues that fairness is best seen as a kind of equity in practice.
From the school yard to the workplace, there’s no charge more damning than “you’re being unfair!” Born out of democracy and raised in open markets, fairness has become our de facto modern creed. The very symbol of American ethics—Lady Justice—wears a blindfold as she weighs the law on her impartial scale. In our zealous pursuit of fairness, we have banished our urges to like one person more than another, one thing over another, hiding them away as dirty secrets (...) of our humanity. In Against Fairness, polymath philosopher Stephen T. Asma drags them triumphantly back into the light. Through playful, witty, but always serious arguments and examples, he vindicates our unspoken and undeniable instinct to favor, making the case that we would all be better off if we showed our unfair tendencies a little more kindness—indeed, if we favored favoritism. Conscious of the egalitarian feathers his argument is sure to ruffle, Asma makes his point by synthesizing a startling array of scientific findings, historical philosophies, cultural practices, analytic arguments, and a variety of personal and literary narratives to give a remarkably nuanced and thorough understanding of how fairness and favoritism fit within our moral architecture. Examining everything from the survival-enhancing biochemistry that makes our mothers love us to the motivating properties of our “affective community,” he not only shows how we favor but the reasons we should. Drawing on thinkers from Confucius to Tocqueville to Nietzsche, he reveals how we have confused fairness with more noble traits, like compassion and open-mindedness. He dismantles a number of seemingly egalitarian pursuits, from classwide Valentine’s Day cards to civil rights, to reveal the envy that lies at their hearts, going on to prove that we can still be kind to strangers, have no prejudice, and fight for equal opportunity at the same time we reserve the best of what we can offer for those dearest to us. Fed up with the blue-ribbons-for-all absurdity of "fairness" today, and wary of the psychological paralysis it creates, Asma resets our moral compass with favoritism as its lodestar, providing a strikingly new and remarkably positive way to think through all our actions, big and small. (shrink)
Rawlsian justice as fairness is neither fundamentally luck egalitarian nor relational egalitarian. Rather, the most fundamental idea is that of society as a fair system of cooperation. Collective pensions provide a case study which illustrates the fruitfulness of conceiving justice in these latter terms. Those who have recently reached the age of majority do not now know how long they will live in retirement or how well any investments they try to save up for their retirement would fare. From (...) the perspective of the beginning of their working lives, it is therefore rational for each to enter into an agreement with others, who also do not yet know their fates, that, if one turns out to be among the unfortunate whose private pension pots would not have yielded enough for one’s retirement, one will receive much more in retirement, whereas those whose pension pots would have overflowed their retirements will receive somewhat less. These terms are to each person’s expected advantage, which is made possible by a fair sharing of the fruits of social cooperation which arise through the efficiencies reaped by the pooling of the risk of outliving what one could save for one’s retirement on one’s own. It is rational for each to agree to share one another’s fates by pooling risks across both space and time, on fair terms of social cooperation for mutual advantage. Even when collective pensions arise from, and are proportional to, a baseline of unequal income, they can be defended on grounds of reciprocity involving regard for one another as equals. (shrink)
This report by the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage addresses how countries can make fair progress towards the goal of universal coverage. It explains the relevant tradeoffs between different desirable ends and offers guidance on how to make these tradeoffs.
Typically, fair machine learning research focuses on a single decision maker and assumes that the underlying population is stationary. However, many of the critical domains motivating this work are characterized by competitive marketplaces with many decision makers. Realistically, we might expect only a subset of them to adopt any non-compulsory fairness-conscious policy, a situation that political philosophers call partial compliance. This possibility raises important questions: how does partial compliance and the consequent strategic behavior of decision subjects affect the allocation (...) outcomes? If k% of employers were to voluntarily adopt a fairness-promoting intervention, should we expect k% progress (in aggregate) towards the benefits of universal adoption, or will the dynamics of partial compliance wash out the hoped-for benefits? How might adopting a global (versus local) perspective impact the conclusions of an auditor? In this paper, we propose a simple model of an employment market, leveraging simulation as a tool to explore the impact of both interaction effects and incentive effects on outcomes and auditing metrics. Our key findings are that at equilibrium: (1) partial compliance by k% of employers can result in far less than proportional (k%) progress towards the full compliance outcomes; (2) the gap is more severe when fair employers match global (vs local) statistics; (3) choices of local vs global statistics can paint dramatically different pictures of the performance vis-a-vis fairness desiderata of compliant versus non-compliant employers; (4) partial compliance based on local parity measures can induce extreme segregation. Finally, we discuss implications for auditors and insights concerning the design of regulatory frameworks. (shrink)
Four ethical values — maximizing benefits, treating equally, promoting and rewarding instrumental value, and giving priority to the worst off — yield six specific recommendations for allocating medical resources in the Covid-19 pandemic: maximize benefits; prioritize health workers; do not allocate on a first-come, first-served basis; be responsive to evidence; recognize research participation; and apply the same principles to all Covid-19 and non–Covid-19 patients.
Addressing both collegiate and professional sports, the updated edition of Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport explores the ethical presuppositions of competitive athletics and their connection both to ethical theory and to concrete moral dilemmas that arise in actual athletic competition. This fourth edition has been updated with new examples, including a discussion of Spygate by the New England Patriots and recent discoveries on the use of performance enhancing drugs by top athletes. Two additional authors, Cesar R. Torres and Peter (...) F. Hager, bring to this edition a discussion of the moral issues involved in youth sports and the ethics of being a fan, as well as a fresh perspective on the theories of broad internalism and the quest for excellence. Furthermore, major criticisms of broad internalism by philosophers William J. Morgan and Scott Kretchmar add a new dimension to the discussion on the moral foundations of winning. (shrink)
Fairness, the notion that people deserve or have rights to certain resources or kinds of treatment, is a fundamental dimension of moral cognition. Drawing on recent evidence from economics, psychology, and neuroscience, we ask whether self-interest is always intuitive, requiring self-control to override with reasoning-based fairness concerns, or whether fairness itself can be intuitive. While we find strong support for rejecting the notion that self-interest is always intuitive, the literature has reached conflicting conclusions about the neurocognitive systems (...) underpinning fairness. We propose that this disagreement can largely be resolved in light of an extended Social Heuristics Hypothesis. Divergent findings may be attributed to the interpretation of behavioral effects of ego depletion or neurostimulation, reverse inference from brain activity to the underlying psychological process, and insensitivity to social context and inter-individual differences. To better dissect the neurobiological basis of fairness, we outline how future research should embrace cross-disciplinary methods that combine psychological manipulations with neuroimaging, and that can probe inter-individual, and cultural heterogeneities. (shrink)
Inspired by recent breakthroughs in predictive modeling, practitioners in both industry and government have turned to machine learning with hopes of operationalizing predictions to drive automated decisions. Unfortunately, many social desiderata concerning consequential decisions, such as justice or fairness, have no natural formulation within a purely predictive framework. In efforts to mitigate these problems, researchers have proposed a variety of metrics for quantifying deviations from various statistical parities that we might expect to observe in a fair world and offered (...) a variety of algorithms in attempts to satisfy subsets of these parities or to trade o the degree to which they are satised against utility. In this paper, we connect this approach to fair machine learning to the literature on ideal and non-ideal methodological approaches in political philosophy. The ideal approach requires positing the principles according to which a just world would operate. In the most straightforward application of ideal theory, one supports a proposed policy by arguing that it closes a discrepancy between the real and the perfectly just world. However, by failing to account for the mechanisms by which our non-ideal world arose, the responsibilities of various decision-makers, and the impacts of proposed policies, naive applications of ideal thinking can lead to misguided interventions. In this paper, we demonstrate a connection between the fair machine learning literature and the ideal approach in political philosophy, and argue that the increasingly apparent shortcomings of proposed fair machine learning algorithms reflect broader troubles faced by the ideal approach. We conclude with a critical discussion of the harms of misguided solutions, a reinterpretation of impossibility results, and directions for future research. (shrink)
This research investigates 3- and 5-year-olds' relative fairness in distributing small collections of even or odd numbers of more or less desirable candies, either with an adult experimenter or between two dolls. The authors compare more than 200 children from around the world, growing up in seven highly contrasted cultural and economic contexts, from rich and poor urban areas, to small-scale traditional and rural communities. Across cultures, young children tend to optimize their own gain, not showing many signs of (...) self-sacrifice or generosity. Already by 3 years of age, self-optimizing in distributive justice is based on perspective taking and rudiments of mind reading. By 5 years, overall, children tend to show more fairness in sharing. What varies across cultures is the magnitude of young children's self-interest. More fairness (less self-interest) in distributive justice is evident by children growing up in small-scale urban and traditional societies thought to promote more collective values. (shrink)
What is a fair distribution of resources and other goods when individuals are partly responsible for their achievements? This book develops a theory of fairness incorporating a concern for personal responsibility, opportunities and freedom. With a critical perspective, it makes accessible the recent developments in economics and philosophy that define social justice in terms of equal opportunities. It also proposes new perspectives and original ideas. The book separates mathematical sections from the rest of the text, so that the main (...) concepts and ideas are easily accessible to non-technical readers. -/- It is often thought that responsibility is a complex notion, but this monograph proposes a simple analytical framework that makes it possible to disentangle the different concepts of fairness that deal with neutralizing inequalities for which the individuals are not held responsible, rewarding their effort, respecting their choices, or staying neutral with respect to their responsibility sphere. It dwells on paradoxes and impossibilities only as a way to highlight important ethical options and always proposes solutions and reasonable compromises among the conflicting values surrounding equality and responsibility. -/- The theory is able to incorporate disincentive problems and is illustrated in the examination of applied policy issues such as: income redistribution when individuals may be held responsible for their choices of labor supply or education; social and private insurance when individuals may be held responsible for their risky lifestyle; second chance policies; the measurement of inequality of opportunities and social mobility. (shrink)
This essay explores a conception of responsibility at work in moral and criminal responsibility. Our conception draws on work in the compatibilist tradition that focuses on the choices of agents who are reasons-responsive and work in criminal jurisprudence that understands responsibility in terms of the choices of agents who have capacities for practical reason and whose situation affords them the fair opportunity to avoid wrongdoing. Our conception brings together the dimensions of normative competence and situational control, and we factor normative (...) competence into cognitive and volitional capacities, which we treat as equally important to normative competence and responsibility. Normative competence and situational control can and should be understood as expressing a common concern that blame and punishment presuppose that the agent had a fair opportunity to avoid wrongdoing. This fair opportunity is the umbrella concept in our understanding of responsibility, one that explains it distinctive architecture. (shrink)
Computer scientists have made great strides in characterizing different measures of algorithmic fairness, and showing that certain measures of fairness cannot be jointly satisfied. In this paper, I argue that the three most popular families of measures - unconditional independence, target-conditional independence and classification-conditional independence - make assumptions that are unsustainable in the context of an unjust world. I begin by introducing the measures and the implicit idealizations they make about the underlying causal structure of the contexts in (...) which they are deployed. I then discuss how these idealizations fall apart in the context of historical injustice, ongoing unmodeled oppression, and the permissibility of using sensitive attributes to rectify injustice. In the final section, I suggest an alternative framework for measuring fairness in the context of existing injustice: distributive fairness. (shrink)
According to a common judgement, a social planner should often use a lottery to decide which of two people should receive a good. This judgement undermines one of the best-known arguments for utilitarianism, due to John C. Harsanyi, and more generally undermines axiomatic arguments for utilitarianism and similar views. In this paper we ask which combinations of views about (a) the social planner’s attitude to risk and inequality, and (b) the subjects’ attitudes to risk are consistent with the aforementioned judgement. (...) We find that the class of combinations of views that can plausibly accommodate this judgement is quite limited. But one theory does better than others: the theory of chance-sensitive utility. (shrink)
The moral principle of fairness or fair play is widely believed to be a solid ground for political obligation, i.e., a general prima facie moral duty to obey the law qua law. In this article, I advance a new and, more importantly, principled objection to fairness theories of political obligation by revealing and defending a justificatory gap between the principle of fairness and political obligation: the duty of fairness on its own is incapable of preempting the (...) citizen‟s liberty to reciprocate fairly in ways other than obeying the law. This justificatory gap is unaffected by the ongoing debate between the voluntarist and the nonvoluntarist accounts of fairness, and it cannot be bridged by the two arguments that are perhaps implicit in Klosko‟s account, namely the presumptive benefits argument and the democratic procedure argument. (shrink)
Fair Governance: The Enforcement of Morals is a study of legal interference with individual preferences and will canvass the interdisciplinary literature in economics, psychology, philosophy, and law. It discusses the particular conditions necessary for the state to legally interfere with our freedom of choice, whether it be to either satisfy our individual pursuit of happiness or to prevent us from making immoral choices. Relatively few philosophers know much of the parallel literature on this central problem of ethics; while many legal (...) scholars are acquainted with the psychological literature on judgment biases, they are frequently unfamiliar with the philosophical literature on perfectionism. Francis H. Buckley carefully links these two notions of state power with recent empirical literature on judgment biases and happiness studies and surveys the literature, arguing for a nuanced form of social perfectionism, one which seeks to promote the kind of liberal nationalism found in the United States. (shrink)
Data-driven predictive algorithms are widely used to automate and guide high-stake decision making such as bail and parole recommendation, medical resource distribution, and mortgage allocation. Nevertheless, harmful outcomes biased against vulnerable groups have been reported. The growing research field known as 'algorithmic fairness' aims to mitigate these harmful biases. Its primary methodology consists in proposing mathematical metrics to address the social harms resulting from an algorithm's biased outputs. The metrics are typically motivated by -- or substantively rooted in -- (...) ideals of distributive justice, as formulated by political and legal philosophers. The perspectives of feminist political philosophers on social justice, by contrast, have been largely neglected. Some feminist philosophers have criticized the local scope of the paradigm of distributive justice and have proposed corrective amendments to surmount its limitations. The present paper brings some key insights of feminist political philosophy to algorithmic fairness. The paper has three goals. First, I show that algorithmic fairness does not accommodate structural injustices in its current scope. Second, I defend the relevance of structural injustices -- as pioneered in the contemporary philosophical literature by Iris Marion Young -- to algorithmic fairness. Third, I take some steps in developing the paradigm of 'responsible algorithmic fairness' to correct for errors in the current scope and implementation of algorithmic fairness. I close by some reflections of directions for future research. (shrink)
Although Fair Trade has been in existence for more than 40 years, discussion in the business and business ethics literature of this unique trading and campaigning movement between Southern producers and Northern buyers and consumers has been limited. This paper seeks to redress this deficit by providing a description of the characteristics of Fair Trade, including definitional issues, market size and segmentation and the key organizations. It discusses Fair Trade from Southern producer and Northern trader and consumer perspectives and highlights (...) the key issues that currently face the Fair Trade movement. It then identifies an initial research agenda to be followed up in subsequent papers. (shrink)
Fair trade aims at humanising the capitalist economy by serving the community, instead of simply striving for financial profit. The current fair trade sector is an excellent example of an innovation where networks based on ethical principles can help to effectively serve this market. Our analysis is based on 48 interviews amongst fair trade innovators in France and illustrates the advent of a new type of entrepreneur, one that is grounded in the social and solidarity economy (SSE). Based on a (...) service-dominant logic, these innovators aim to construct a 'new world' centred on trade relationships by integrating the role of multiple-player networks into the creation of value in the market. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that established responses to the demandingness objection fail to acknowledge an alternative explanation of the intuitive pull of this objection for a significant subset of norms being subject to it. This is the class of imperfect collective duties, which give rise to conceptually distinct objections from fairness that nonetheless permeate many clear examples of intuitively problematic moral demands. Such duties obtain where it is morally required to attain a certain outcome O, yet obtaining O (...) does not require each moral agent to do as much as they individually can but instead requires a finite amount of effort that can be variously allocated to different agents – think of classic collective action problems such as protesting against an unjust policy, lobbying a government, donating to disaster relief, or hosting refugees. -/- In such cases, our collective ability to attain O grounds a collective duty C to attain O, but this collective duty can be translated into various schemes of individual duties P to contribute towards O. Accordingly, this decomposition of C raises a problem of distributive justice. In fact, many intuitive objections to unfair distributions in such cases can be readily accounted for with the conceptual apparatus of prominent theories of distributive justice, but not by standard theories of interpersonal morality. For instance, the moral relevance of the fact that performing a composite duty P is more burdensome for agent A than for agent B can readily be explained in luck-egalitarian terms. Yet both utilitarians and contractualists could not account for this fact independently of an appeal to the demandingness objection, provided that the moral importance of the outcome attainable through P still trumps reasons against it that are due to the burden borne by the agent. -/- Put briefly, then, we need to clearly distinguish objections that morality demands _too much_ of me from objections that morality demands too much _of me_. Doing so is likely to make accepting the demandingness of morality properly construed more intuitively plausible, perhaps as mitigated by certain existing responses. (shrink)
In this paper, I link philosophical discussion of policies for trans inclusion or exclusion, to a method of policy making. I address the relationship between concerns about safety, fairness, and inclusion in policy making about the inclusion of transwomen athletes into women’s sport. I argue for an approach based on lexical priority rather than simple ‘balancing’, considering the different values in a specific order. I present justifying reasons for this approach and this lexical order, based on the special obligations (...) of International Federations such as World Rugby. As a result, I provide a justificatory framework for the WR Guidelines that exclude transwomen from the women’s game in WR competitions. Finally, I give an account of a maximally safe, maximally fair and maximally inclusive form of sex categorisation in sport. (shrink)
In The Right to Higher Education, Christopher Martin develops a powerful, autonomy-based argument that there is a moral right to access to higher education. I raise three concerns about whether this argument succeeds. The first is a concern about the conception of autonomy at the heart of Martin’s argument; the second is a concern about possible overgeneralizations of the argument; and the third is a concern about whether Martin’s view is consonant with judgments about fairness.
Quelle politique peut-on faire quand on est un idiot? Loin d'être saugrenue, c'est bien la question qu'on est conduit à se poser inévitablement en lisant l'oeuvre de Gilles Deleuze. L'"idiot" joue, en effet, un rôle incontournable et essentiel dans la philosophie de Deleuze. Il est le personnage conceptuel qui fait tenir cette philosophie dans sa consistance propre. Il se situe à la charnière de l'image de la pensée que le philosophe invoque et suppose plus ou moins implicitement et de la (...) création de concepts qu'il produit explicitement. Aussi, faire de la philosophie, tout comme agir et penser politiquement, c'est toujours une manière de faire l'idiot. Les conséquences de cette approche sont capitales, du fait des questions posées à la réflexion politique classique centrée sur le Droit et l'Etat, du fait aussi des problématiques qui se voient invalidées dans ce champ. La place qui revient au contrôle et au bio-pouvoir, aux zones d'indétermination et aux espaces lisses, permet de prendre une saine distance vis-à-vis de la politique "majoritaire" et de faire apparaître, comme déjà de vieux clichés, bon nombre de thèmes et de concepts revendiqués par les organisations alternatives, mondialistes et subversives récentes. C'est une tout autre idée de la politique, centrée sur les devenirs, que nous invite à méditer la politique deleuzienne de l'idiot. Elle nous ouvre à d'autres espérances, nouvelles, en lien avec un "peuple absent" qui naîtrait avec chaque devenir. (shrink)
This book is based on Professor Franck's highly acclaimed Hague Academy General Course. In it he offers a compelling view of the future of international legal reasoning and legal theory. The author offers a critical analysis of the prescriptive norms and institutions of modern international law and argues that international law has the capacity to advance, in practice, the abstract social values shared by the community of states and persons. This book is both thought-provoking and original and as such is (...) essential reading for students of international law and legal theory. (shrink)
After nearly 20 years of work by activists, fair trade, a movement establishing alternative trading organizations to ensure minimal returns, safe working conditions, and environmentally sustainable production, is now gaining steam, with increasing awareness and availability across a variety of products. However, this article addresses several major remaining challenges: (a) a lack of agreement about what fair trade really means and how it should be certified; (b) uneven awareness and availability across different areas, with marked differences between some parts of (...) Europe and North America that reflect more fundamental debates about distribution; (c) larger questions about the extent of the potential contribution of fair trade to development under the current system, including limitations on the number and types of workers affected and the fair trade focus on commodity goods. (shrink)
The "Dutch Book" argument, tracing back to Ramsey and to deFinetti, offers prudential grounds for action in conformity with personal probability. Under several structural assumptions about combinations of stakes, your betting policy is coherent only if your fair odds are probabilities. The central question posed here is the following one: Besides providing an operational test of coherent betting, does the "Book" argument also provide for adequate measurement of the agents degrees of beliefs? That is, are an agent's fair odds also (...) his/her personal probabilities for those events? We argue the answer is "No!" The problem is caused by the possibility of state dependent utilities. (shrink)
This chapter provides a critical overview and interpretation of fair subject selection in clinical and social scientific research. It first provides an analytical framework for thinking about the problem of fair subject selection. It then argues that fair subject selection is best understood as a set of four subprinciples, each with normative force and each with distinct and often conflicting implications for the selection of participants: fair inclusion, fair burden sharing, fair opportunity, and fair distribution of third-party risks. It then (...) defends an approach to navigating the conflicting imperatives of these subprinciples, one which privileges the need to include epistemically distinct groups in research, before concluding by considering the most pressing research questions regarding fair subject selection. (shrink)
In many societies, the aging of the population is becoming a major problem. This raises difficult issues for ethics and public policy. On what is known as the fair innings view, it is not impermissible to give lower priority to policies that primarily benefit the elderly. Philosophers have tried to justify this view on various grounds. In this article, I look at a consequentialist, a fairness-based, and a contractarian justification. I argue that all of them have implausible implications and (...) fail to correspond to our moral intuitions. I end by outlining a different kind of consequentialist justification that avoids those implications and corresponds better to our considered moral judgments. (shrink)
The principle of fairness suggests that it is wrong for free riders to enjoy cooperative benefits without also helping to produce them. Considerations of fairness are a familiar part of moral experience, yet there is a great deal of controversy as to the conditions of their application. The primary debate concerns whether cooperative benefits need to be voluntarily accepted. Many argue that acceptance is unnecessary because such theories are too permissive and acceptance appears to be absent in a (...) variety of cases where considerations of fairness nevertheless seem applicable. In this paper, I defend the claim that acceptance is necessary by suggesting that these worries can be disarmed, and that theories that deny the necessity of acceptance face deep challenges in articulating an understanding of cooperative benefits that does not also appeal to a person’s acceptance of them. (shrink)
Since the development of assisted reproductive technologies, infertile individuals have crossed borders to obtain treatments unavailable or unaffordable in their own country. Recent media coverage has focused on the outsourcing of surrogacy to developing countries, where the cost for surrogacy is significantly less than the equivalent cost in a more developed country. This paper discusses the ethical arguments against international surrogacy. The major opposition viewpoints can be broadly divided into arguments about welfare, commodification and exploitation. It is argued that the (...) only valid objection to international surrogacy is that surrogate mothers may be exploited by being given too little compensation. However, the possibility of exploitation is a weak argument for prohibition, as employment alternatives for potential surrogate mothers may be more exploitative or more harmful than surrogacy. It is concluded that international surrogacy must be regulated, and the proposed regulatory mechanism is termed Fair Trade Surrogacy. The guidelines of Fair Trade Surrogacy focus on minimizing potential harms to all parties and ensuring fair compensation for surrogate mothers. (shrink)
The moral principle of fairness or fair play is widely believed to be a solid ground for political obligation, i.e., a general prima facie moral duty to obey the law qua law. In this article, I advance a new and, more importantly, principled objection to fairness theories of political obligation by revealing and defending a justificatory gap between the principle of fairness and political obligation: the duty of fairness on its own is incapable of preempting the (...) citizen’s liberty to reciprocate fairly in ways other than obeying the law. This justificatory gap is unaffected by the ongoing debate between the voluntarist and the nonvoluntarist accounts of fairness, and it cannot be bridged by the two arguments that are perhaps implicit in Klosko’s account, namely the presumptive benefits argument and the democratic procedure argument. (shrink)
Fair trade is an ethical alternative to neoliberal market practices. This article examines the development of the fair trade movement, both in Mexico and abroad, beginning with the experience of UCIRI (Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Región del Istmo – Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region), an association of small coffee growers in Mexico and a main actor in the creation of the first fair trade seal in the world, Max Havelaar, in 1988. Future success of the (...) fair trade movement depends mainly on resolving the tension between the capitalist business goals and the activist transformation goals of its diverse practitioners. (shrink)
Cutting a cake, dividing up the property in an estate, determining the borders in an international dispute - such problems of fair division are ubiquitous. Fair Division treats all these problems and many more through a rigorous analysis of a variety of procedures for allocating goods, or deciding who wins on what issues, when there are disputes. Starting with an analysis of the well-known cake-cutting procedure, 'I cut, you choose', the authors show how it has been adapted in a number (...) of fields and then analyze fair-division procedures applicable to situations in which there are more than two parties, or there is more than one good to be divided. In particular they focus on procedures which provide 'envy-free' allocations, in which everybody thinks he or she has received the largest portion and hence does not envy anybody else. They also discuss the fairness of different auction and election procedures. (shrink)
The main body of this paper assesses a leading recent theory of fairness, a theory put forward by John Broome. I discuss Broome's theory partly because of its prominence and partly because I think it points us in the right direction, even if it takes some missteps. In the course of discussing Broome's theory, I aim to cast light on the relation of fairness to consistency, equality, impartiality, desert, rights, and agreements. Indeed, before I start assessing Broome's theory, (...) I discuss two very popular conceptions of fairness that contrast with his. One of these very popular conceptions identifies fairness with the equal and impartial application of rules. The other identifies fairness with all-things-considered moral rightness. (shrink)
Brink analyzes responsibility and its relations to desert, culpability, excuse, blame, and punishment. He argues that an agent is responsible for misconduct if and only if it is not excused, and that responsibility consists in agents having suitable cognitive and volitional capacities, and a fair opportunity to exercise these capacities.
Racial, Gender, and Intersectional Biases in AI / -/- Dominant View of Intersectional Fairness in the AI Literature / -/- Three Fundamental Problems with the Dominant View / 1. Overemphasis on Intersections of Attributes / 2. Dilemma between Infinite Regress and Fairness Gerrymandering / 3. Narrow Understanding of Fairness as Parity / -/- Rethinking AI Fairness: from Weak to Strong Fairness.
This paper develops a Multidimensional Decision Theory and argues that it better captures ordinary intuitions about fair distribution of chances than classical decision theory. The theory is an extension of Richard Jeffrey’s decision theory to counterfactual prospects and is a form of Modal Consequentialism, according to which the value of actual outcomes often depends on what could have been. Unlike existing versions of modal consequentialism, the multidimensional decision theory allows us to explicitly model the desirabilistic dependencies between actual and counterfactual (...) outcomes that, I contend, are at the heart of common intuitions about fair distribution of chances. (shrink)
Recent concern over “high frequency trading” (HFT) has called into question the fairness of the practice. What does it mean for a financial market to be “fair”? We first examine how high frequency trading is actually used. High frequency traders often implement traditional beneficial strategies such as market making and arbitrage, although computers can also be used for manipulative strategies as well. We then examine different notions of fairness. Procedural fairness can be viewed from the perspective of (...) equal opportunity, in which all market participants are treated alike. The same rules apply to HFT as to other traders. Another approach to fairness is in the equality of outcomes. Many HFT strategies are beneficial to other market participants, so one cannot categorically denounce the practice as unfair. Other strategies, for both high and low frequency trading, are not. It is thus important to distinguish between the technology and the use of the technology to make judgments on fairness. (shrink)
The combination of increased availability of large amounts of fine-grained human behavioral data and advances in machine learning is presiding over a growing reliance on algorithms to address complex societal problems. Algorithmic decision-making processes might lead to more objective and thus potentially fairer decisions than those made by humans who may be influenced by greed, prejudice, fatigue, or hunger. However, algorithmic decision-making has been criticized for its potential to enhance discrimination, information and power asymmetry, and opacity. In this paper, we (...) provide an overview of available technical solutions to enhance fairness, accountability, and transparency in algorithmic decision-making. We also highlight the criticality and urgency to engage multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, and citizens to co-develop, deploy, and evaluate in the real-world algorithmic decision-making processes designed to maximize fairness and transparency. In doing so, we describe the Open Algortihms project as a step towards realizing the vision of a world where data and algorithms are used as lenses and levers in support of democracy and development. (shrink)
In his paper “Fairness, Political Obligation, and the Justificatory Gap” (published in the Journal of Moral Philosophy), Jiafeng Zhu argues that the principle of fair play cannot require submission to the rules of a cooperative scheme, and that when such submission is required, the requirement is grounded in consent. I propose a better argument for the claim that fair play requires submission to the rules than the one Zhu considers. I also argue that Zhu’s attribution of consent to people (...) commonly thought to be bound to follow the rules by a duty of fair play is implausible. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend fairness-based retributivism against two important objections, the no-benefit objection and the social injustice objection. I argue that the theory can defeat the no-benefit objection by developing an account of how crimes can be sources of unfairness by inflicting losses on people, and that it can blunt the social injustice objection by toning down the theory’s distributive aspirations. I conclude that fairness-based retributivism, contrary to received wisdom, merits further attention from legal and political philosophers.
Every year, hundreds of patients in England die whilst waiting for a kidney transplant, and this is evidence that the current system of altruistic-based donation is not sufficient to address the shortage of kidneys available for transplant. To address this problem, we propose a monopsony system whereby kidney donors can opt-in to receive financial compensation, whilst still preserving the right of individuals to donate without receiving any compensation. A monopsony system describes a market structure where there is only one ‘buyer’—in (...) this case the National Health Service. By doing so, several hundred lives could be saved each year in England, wait times for a kidney transplant could be significantly reduced, and it would lessen the burden on dialysis services. Furthermore, compensation would help alleviate the common disincentives to living kidney donation, such as its potential associated health and psychological costs, and it would also help to increase awareness of living kidney donation. The proposed system would also result in significant cost savings that could then be redirected towards preventing kidney disease and reducing health disparities. While concerns about exploitation, coercion, and the ‘crowding out’ of altruistic donors exist, we believe that careful implementation can mitigate these issues. Therefore, we recommend piloting financial compensation for living kidney donors at a transplant centre in England. (shrink)
This book addresses the European Court of Human Rights’ fairness standards in criminal appeal, filling a gap in this less researched area of studies. Based on a fair trial immediacy requirement, the Court has found several violations of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights at the appellate level by at least eighteen States of the Council of Europe in a vast array of cases, particularly in contexts of first instance acquittals overturning and of sentences increasing on (...) appeal. -/- On the one hand, the book critically engages this case-law with the law revisions it has recently inspired in European countries, as well as with the critiques and difficulties that it continues to raise. On the other hand, it interweaves insight from criminal procedure theory with new discoveries in the field of cognitive sciences (neuroscience of memory, philosophy of knowledge, AI), shedding an interdisciplinary light on the (in)adequacy and limits of the Strasbourg Court’s jurisprudence. (shrink)