Enough is too much: the excessiveness objection to sufficientarianism

Economics and Philosophy 38 (2):275-299 (2022)
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Abstract

The standard version of sufficientarianism maintains that providing people with enough, or as close to enough as is possible, is lexically prior to other distributive goals. This article argues that this is excessive – more than distributive justice allows – in four distinct ways. These concern the magnitude of advantage, the number of beneficiaries, responsibility and desert, and above-threshold distribution. Sufficientarians can respond by accepting that providing enough unconditionally is more than distributive justice allows, instead balancing sufficiency against other considerations.

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Author's Profile

Carl Knight
University of Glasgow

Citations of this work

Sufficiency and the Distribution of Burdens.Robert Huseby - forthcoming - Ethics, Policy and Environment.
Political theory and the politics of need.George Boss - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.
The numbers fallacy: rescuing sufficientarianism from arithmeticism.Lasse Nielsen - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
Equality and equal opportunity for welfare.Richard J. Arneson - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 56 (1):77 - 93.

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