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Ingmar Persson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198792178

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198792178.001.0001

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Prioritarianism and Its Problems

Prioritarianism and Its Problems

(p.183) 9 Prioritarianism and Its Problems
Inclusive Ethics

Ingmar Persson

Oxford University Press

Many philosophers prefer the prioritarian or priority view that benefits to beings have a greater moral weight the worse off they are, absolutely speaking, to the egalitarian view that this weight is determined by their worseness relative to others, because this difference is thought to make prioritarianism escape Derek Parfit’s levelling down objection. However, it is here argued that prioritarianism is exposed to a much worse form of this objection, since it implies that there is always something good about a reduction of someone’s benefits, because it always increases their average moral weight. It is also suggested that prioritarianism is vulnerable to a development of an objection advanced by Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve.

Keywords:   Derek Parfit, levelling down objection, prioritarianism, priority view, Michael Otsuka, Alex Voorhoeve

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