Fairness is one of the most prominent values in the Ethics and Artificial Intelligence debate and, specifically, in the discussion on algorithmic decision-making. However, while the need for fairness in ADM is widely acknowledged, the very concept of fairness has not been sufficiently explored so far. Our paper aims to fill this gap and claims that an ethically informed re-definition of fairness is needed to adequately investigate fairness in ADM. To achieve our goal, after an introductory section aimed at clarifying the aim and structure of the paper, in section “Fairness in algorithmic decision-making” we provide an overview of the state of the art of the discussion on fairness in ADM and show its shortcomings; in section “Fairness as an ethical value”, we pursue an ethical inquiry into the concept of fairness, drawing insights from accounts of fairness developed in moral philosophy, and define fairness as an ethical value. In particular, we argue that fairness is articulated in a distributive and socio-relational dimension; it comprises three main components: fair equality of opportunity, equal right to justification, and fair equality of relationship; these components are grounded in the need to respect persons both as persons and as particular individuals. In section “Fairness in algorithmic decision-making revised”, we analyze the implications of our redefinition of fairness as an ethical value on the discussion of fairness in ADM and show that each component of fairness has profound effects on the criteria that ADM ought to meet. Finally, in section “Concluding remarks”, we sketch some broader implications and conclude.
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-022-09622-5
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What is the Point of Equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
Persons, Character, and Morality.Bernard Williams - 1976 - In James Rachels (ed.), Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980. Cambridge University Press.
Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.
What is Egalitarianism?Samuel Scheffler - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (1):5-39.

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