Theories of Fairness and Aggregation

Erkenntnis 85 (3):715-738 (2020)
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Abstract

We investigate the issue of aggregativity in fair division problems from the perspective of cooperative game theory and Broomean theories of fairness. Paseau and Saunders proved that no non-trivial theory of fairness can be aggregative and conclude that theories of fairness are therefore problematic, or at least incomplete. We observe that there are theories of fairness, particularly those that are based on cooperative game theory, that do not face the problem of non-aggregativity. We use this observation to argue that the universal claim that no non-trivial theory of fairness can guarantee aggregativity is false. Paseau and Saunders’s mistaken assertion can be understood as arising from a neglect of the games approach to fair division. Our treatment has two further pay-offs: for one, we give an accessible introduction to the games approach to fair division, whose significance has hitherto not been appreciated by philosophers working on fairness. For another, our discussion explores the issue of aggregativity in fair division problems in a comprehensive fashion.

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Author Profiles

Stefan Wintein
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Conrad Heilmann
Erasmus University Rotterdam

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.
Treating Broome Fairly.Christian Piller - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (2):214-238.
Fairness.Bradford Hooker - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4):329-352.

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