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The aggregation problem for Scanlonian Contractualism: an exploration of the relevance view, mixed solutions, and why Scanlonian Contractualists could be, and perhaps should be, Restricted Prioritarians

Van Gils, A. (2019) The aggregation problem for Scanlonian Contractualism: an exploration of the relevance view, mixed solutions, and why Scanlonian Contractualists could be, and perhaps should be, Restricted Prioritarians. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

In this thesis, I discuss the aggregation problem for T. M. Scanlon’s (1998) “contractualism”. I argue that Scanlonian contractualists have the following two options when it comes to the aggregation problem. First, they can choose to limit aggregation directly via a specific version of the Relevance View, “Sequential Claims-Matching”. Second, Scanlonian contractualists can adopt a so-called “mixed solution” of which I propose a specific version. My mixed solution does not limit aggregation. Rather, it either avoids some of the (for Scanlon at least) counterintuitive results in certain cases, or at least makes these same results look a lot less counterintuitive by putting them into perspective thanks to a plausible plurality of precisely specified values. The stakes between these two options are as follows. The first option justifies Scanlon’s intuition in one vs. many cases of which his “World Cup Case” is one example, but it comes at the cost of a seemingly quite limited range of application: any version of the Relevance View only works in cases in which we have no more than two groups of competing claimants. The second option has the exact opposite implications: my mixed solution cannot justify Scanlon’s intuition in one vs. many cases, but it could be applied to any case with any number of groups of competing claimants. In this choice between pre-theoretical intuition and (practical) feasibility, I would urge Scanlonian contractualists to choose feasibility.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Hooker, B. and Tomlin, P.
Thesis/Report Department:Philosophy
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:97047

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