Weighted sufficientarianisms: Carl Knight on the excessiveness objection

Economics and Philosophy 39 (3):494-506 (2023)
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Carl Knight argues that lexical sufficientarianism, which holds that sufficientarian concerns should have lexical priority over other distributive goals, is ‘excessive’ in many distinct ways and that sufficientarians should either defend weighted sufficientarianism or become prioritarians. In this article, I distinguish three types of weighted sufficientarianism and propose a weighted sufficientarian view that meets the excessiveness objection and is preferable to both Knight’s proposal and prioritarianism. More specifically, I defend a multi-threshold view which gives weighted priority to benefits directly above and below its thresholds, but gives benefits below the lowest threshold lexical priority over benefits above the highest threshold.


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Dick Timmer
Dortmund University

Citations of this work

Sufficiency and the Distribution of Burdens.Robert Huseby - forthcoming - Ethics, Policy and Environment.
Right-Libertarianism and Luck Sufficientarianism.Konstantin Morozov - 2024 - Tomsk State University Journal of Philosophy, Sociology and Political Science 79:125-133.

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References found in this work

Equality as a moral ideal.Harry Frankfurt - 1987 - Ethics 98 (1):21-43.
Why sufficiency is not enough.Paula Casal - 2007 - Ethics 117 (2):296-326.
Equality, priority, and compassion.Roger Crisp - 2003 - Ethics 113 (4):745-763.
The Prospects for Sufficientarianism.Liam Shields - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (1):101-117.
Sufficiency: Restated and defended.Robert Huseby - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (2):178-197.

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