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Reasons and the Good$
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Roger Crisp

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199290338

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199290338.001.0001

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(p.146) 6 Equality
Reasons and the Good

Roger Crisp (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that there is a distributive, as opposed to aggregative, element in the perspective of impartiality, just as there is in the case of self-interested partiality. The impartial principle to counter self-interest is act-utilitarianism. But act-utilitarianism ignores the idea that distribution of goods can matter independently of pure aggregation. Two theories of such distribution — egalitarianism and the ‘priority view’ — are rejected. The chapter argues for the view that there is a certain threshold — that at which an individual has ‘enough’ — such that the well-being of those below that threshold grounds reasons of a strength that varies in proportion to the distance from the threshold.

Keywords:   well-being, reason, impartiality, egalitarianism, priority view, act-utilitarianism

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