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Hypothetical choice, egalitarianism, and the separateness of persons

Hyams, K. (2015) Hypothetical choice, egalitarianism, and the separateness of persons. Utilitas, 27 (2). pp. 217-239. ISSN 1741-6183

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0953820814000363

Abstract/Summary

Luck egalitarians claim that disadvantage is worse when it emerges from an unchosen risk than when it emerges from a chosen risk. I argue that disadvantage is also worse when it emerges from an unchosen risk that the disadvantaged agent would have declined to take, had he or she been able to do so, than when it emerges from an unchosen risk that the disadvantaged agent would not have declined to take. Such a view is significant because it allows both luck egalitarians and prioritarians to respond to Voorhoeve and Fleurbaey's charge that they fail to accommodate intuitions about the moral relevance of interpersonal boundaries – the so-called separateness of persons objection. I argue that the view is plausible independently of its ability to answer the separateness of persons objection, and is a natural extension of the luck egalitarian concern with the impact of unchosen circumstance.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:37210
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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