Economics and Philosophy 33 (2):215–57 (2017)

Authors
David McCarthy
University of Hong Kong
Abstract
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 priority principle, is provided. But it is argued that the priority view fails on both ethical and conceptual grounds.
Keywords Priority view  Prioritarianism  Expected utility  Egalitarianism  Utilitarianism  Nonexpected utility
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1017/s0266267116000225
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

View all 46 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Distributive Equality.David McCarthy - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1045-1109.
Philosophy of Economics.Daniel M. Hausman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Prioritarianism: A Response to Critics.Matthew D. Adler & Nils Holtug - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (2):101-144.
Risk and the Unfairness of Some Being Better Off at the Expense of Others.Thomas Rowe - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (1).

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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