Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):142-155 (2019)

Utilitarians are said to be indifferent between interpersonal and intrapersonal transfers. In doing so, they fail to register the separateness of persons. This ‘separateness of persons’ objection has been traditionally used against utilitarianism, but more recently against prioritarianism. In this paper, I examine how yet another distributive view, namely sufficientarianism, fares in this respect. Sufficientarians famously believe that while inequality as such does not matter, what does matter is that all individuals meet some adequate threshold. It is often taken for granted that sufficientarianism does not violate the separateness of persons. In this paper, I seek to show that that is not the case. The main challenge, however, proves to be formulating an accurate understanding of what the separateness of persons precisely means. I offer several interpretations and argue that sufficientarianism, surprisingly, violates them all. Sufficientarianism, just like utilitarianism does not respect the separateness of persons.
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqy035
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References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Philosophy 63 (243):119-122.
The Methods of Ethics.Henry Sidgwick - 1962 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Equality or Priority About Competing Claims?Shlomi Segall - 2022 - Economics and Philosophy 38 (2):242-265.
One-by-One: Moral Theory for Separate Persons.Bastian Steuwer - 2020 - Dissertation, London School of Economics

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