On Fairness and Claims

Utilitas 24 (2):200-213 (2012)

Abstract

Perhaps the best-known theory of fairness is John Broome’s: that fairness is the proportional satisfaction of claims. In this article, I question whether claims are the appropriate focus for a theory of fairness, at least as Broome understands them in his current theory. If fairness is the proportionate satisfaction of claims, I argue, then the following would be true: fairness could not help determine the correct distribution of claims; fairness could not be used to evaluate the distribution of claims; fairness could not guide us in distributing claims (or unowed goods); we could not have a claim to be treated fairly; and we would not be wronged when treated unfairly. These entailments mean that it is questionable that fairness is concerned with claims in the way Broome suggests. At the very least, the relationship between fairness and claims appears to be more complex than the picture painted by Broome.

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Patrick Tomlin
University of Warwick

References found in this work

Fairness.John Broome - 1991 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 91:87 - 101.
V—Fairness.John Broome - 1991 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 91 (1):87-102.
Fairness.Brad Hooker - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4):329 - 352.
Kamm on Fairness. [REVIEW]John Broome - 1998 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):955.

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Citations of this work

Against Lottocracy.Lachlan Montgomery Umbers - 2018 - European Journal of Political Theory 20 (2):312-334.
Priority and Desert.Matthew Rendall - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):939-951.
How to Be Fairer.Conrad Heilmann & Stefan Wintein - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3475-3499.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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