Explaining the Geometry of Desert

Public Affairs Quarterly 18:273 (2004)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In the past decade, three philosophers in particular have recently explored the relation between desert and intrinsic value. Fred Feldman argues that consequentialism need not give much weight – or indeed any weight at all – to the happiness of persons who undeservedly experience pleasure. He defends the claim that the intrinsic value of a state of affairs is determined by the “fit” between the amount of well-being that a person receives and the amount of well-being that the person deserves. Shelly Kagan uses a similar claim to motivate the view that equality is not intrinsically valuable. Thomas Hurka argues that desert is a third-order value, which is a function of the relation between the second-order value of having a virtuous or vicious character and the first-order value of experiencing pleasure or pain. In this paper, we sketch a theory of desert as fittingness and defend a general account of the relation between desert, well-being, and intrinsic value. We then discuss various applications of our “geometry of desert,” including a solution to the problem of the Repugnant Conclusion.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
FEIPAQ
Revision history
Archival date: 2020-03-24
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2014-01-17

Total views
13 ( #47,627 of 47,324 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #41,208 of 47,324 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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