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Moral AnimalsIdeals and Constraints in Moral Theory$
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Catherine Wilson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199267675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199267677.001.0001

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The Division of the Cooperative Surplus

The Division of the Cooperative Surplus

(p.164) 6 The Division of the Cooperative Surplus
Moral Animals

Catherine Wilson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

According to Hobbes’ Theorem, moral practices increase the co‐operative surplus. Other, non‐moral social mechanisms, such as those described and endorsed by Robert Nozick determine to a great extent, however, the allocation of the surplus. Chapter 6 asks to what extent observed disparities in well‐being enjoyed and deprivation endured are morally acceptable. The ‘basic’ co‐operation that characterizes most organised human activities is distinguished from morally superior ‘symmetrical’ co‐operation and its relevance to the problems of distributive justice is explored. The requisites of a decent human life are discussed, and three tiers of goods are identified as the known, presumptive, and doubtful and speculative components of well‐being.

Keywords:   co‐operation, deprivation, distributive justice, Nozick, well‐being

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