Social Philosophy and Policy

Research Article

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF NONAGGREGATIVE PRIORITY FOR THE WORST OFF

Marc Fleurbaeya1, Bertil Tungoddena2 and Peter Vallentynea3

a1 Ethics and Economics, Université Paris Descartes

a2 Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration

a3 Philosophy, University of Missouri–Columbia

Abstract

We address the question of whether there is a prioritarian moral theory that both (1) avoids giving absolute priority to the worst off (as leximin does) but (2) does not allow arbitrarily small benefits to enough extremely affluent people to take priority over a significant benefit to a worst off person in abject poverty. We argue that this is possible only if one rejects some seemingly plausible conditions.

Footnotes

For most helpful comments, we thank Nils Holtug, Mike Otsuka, Ellen Paul, Alex Voorhoeve, the other contributors to this volume, and its editors.

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