Priority and Desert

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):939-951 (2013)
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Abstract

Michael Otsuka, Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey have challenged the priority view in favour of a theory based on competing claims. The present paper shows how their argument can be used to recast the priority view. All desert claims in distributive justice are comparative. The stronger a party’s claims to a given benefit, the greater is the value of her receiving it. Ceteris paribus, the worse-off have stronger claims on welfare, and benefits to them matter more. This can account for intuitions that at first appear egalitarian, as the analysis of an example of Larry Temkin’s shows. The priority view, properly understood, is desert-adjusted utilitarianism under the assumption that no other claims pertain

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Matthew Rendall
University of Nottingham

Citations of this work

Prioritarianism: A response to critics.Matthew D. Adler & Nils Holtug - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (2):101-144.
Prioritarianism: Ex Ante, Ex Post, or Factualist Criterion of Rightness?Nils Holtug - 2019 - Journal of Political Philosophy 27 (2):207-228.
Prioritarianism: Room for Desert?Matthew D. Adler - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):172-197.
Competing Claims and the Separateness of Persons.Jamie Hardy - 2022 - Philosophical Papers 51 (1):89-113.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Moral thinking: its levels, method, and point.R. M. Hare (ed.) - 1981 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Equality or Priority?Derek Parfit - 2002 - In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), The Ideal of Equality. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 81-125.
Why sufficiency is not enough.Paula Casal - 2007 - Ethics 117 (2):296-326.

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