Similarity and the Trustworthiness of Distributive Judgments

Economics and Philosophy (forthcoming)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
When people must either save a greater number of people from a smaller harm or a smaller number from a greater harm, do their choices reflect a reasonable moral outlook? We pursue this question with the help of an experiment. In our experiment, two-fifths of subjects employ a similarity heuristic. When alternatives appear dissimilar in terms of the number saved but similar in terms of the magnitude of harm prevented, this heuristic mandates saving the greater number. In our experiment, this leads to choices that are inconsistent with all standard theories of justice. We argue that this demonstrates the untrustworthiness of distributive judgments in cases that elicit similarity-based choice.
Reprint years
2018
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ALESAM-4
Revision history
First archival date: 2017-01-14
Latest version: 4 (2018-08-22)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2017-01-14

Total views
67 ( #26,067 of 37,965 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #31,325 of 37,965 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.