IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

On Fairness and Claims




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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomlin, Patrick, 2012. "On Fairness and Claims," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 200-213, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:24:y:2012:i:02:p:200-213_00

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:24:y:2012:i:02:p:200-213_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.