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Egalitarianism and the Separateness of Persons

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  • VOORHOEVE, ALEX
  • FLEURBAEY, MARC

Abstract

The difference between the unity of the individual and the separateness of persons requires that there be a shift in the moral weight that we accord to changes in utility when we move from making intra personal trade-offs to making inter personal trade-offs. We examine which forms of egalitarianism can, and which cannot, account for this shift. We argue that a form of egalitarianism which is concerned only with the extent of outcome inequality cannot account for this shift. We also argue that a view which is concerned with both outcome inequality and with the unfairness of inequality in individuals’ expected utilities can account for this shift. Finally, we limn an alternative view, on which such inequalities are not intrinsically bad, but nonetheless determine the strength of individuals’ competing claims. We argue that this ‘Competing Claims View’ can also account for the shift.

Suggested Citation

  • Voorhoeve, Alex & Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Egalitarianism and the Separateness of Persons," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 381-398, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:24:y:2012:i:03:p:381-398_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Anders Herlitz & David Horan, 2016. "Prioritizing the “worse off” under attainability constraints: An indeterminacy problem for distributive fairness," Working Papers 201608, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. Alex Voorhoeve, 2014. "Matthew D. Adler: Well-being and fair distribution: beyond cost-benefit analysis," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 42(1), pages 245-254, January.

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