From Choice to Chance? Saving People, Fairness, and Lotteries

Philosophical Review 124 (2):169-206 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Many authors in ethics, economics, and political science endorse the Lottery Requirement, that is, the following thesis: where different parties have equal moral claims to one indivisible good, it is morally obligatory to let a fair lottery decide which party is to receive the good. This article defends skepticism about the Lottery Requirement. It distinguishes three broad strategies of defending such a requirement: the surrogate satisfaction account, the procedural account, and the ideal consent account, and argues that none of these strategies succeed. The article then discusses and discharges some remaining grounds for resistance to these skeptical conclusions, as well as the possibility of defending a weaker version of a normative lottery principle. The conclusion is that we have no reason to believe that where equal claims conflict, we are morally required to hold a lottery, as opposed to simply picking one of the parties on more subjective grounds or out of pure whim. In addition to the practical consequences of this skeptical view, the article sketches some theoretical implications for debates about saving the greater number and about axiomatic utilitarianism

Similar books and articles

The equality of lotteries.Ben Saunders - 2008 - Philosophy 83 (3):359-372.
Fairness between competing claims.Ben Saunders - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (1):41-55.
Broome on Fairness and Lotteries.Hugh Lazenby - 2014 - Utilitas 26 (4):331-345.
Should the probabilities count?Katharina Berndt Rasmussen - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (2):205-218.
The Mixed Solution to the Number Problem.Martin Peterson - 2009 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (2):166-177.
Justice as Fairness in a Broken World.Marcus Arvan - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 4 (2):95-126.
Justice by lottery.Barbara Goodwin - 1992 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Survival lotteries reconsidered.Gerhard Øverland - 2007 - Bioethics 21 (7):355–363.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-09-11

Downloads
2,549 (#3,167)

6 months
150 (#23,192)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Tim Henning
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2004 - Univ of California Press.
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.John Von Neumann & Oskar Morgenstern - 1944 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

View all 50 references / Add more references