On Keeping Things in Proportion

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Formula One isn’t very important. You can't care about it too much. The refugee crisis is more important. You can care about it much more. In this paper we investigate how important something is. By ‘importance’ we mean how much it is fitting to care about a thing. We explore a view about this which we call Proportionalism. This view says that a thing’s importance depends on that thing’s share of the world’s total value. The more of what matters there is, the less you can care about each thing in particular. The less of what matters there is, the more you can care about each thing in particular. We argue that, in many respects, Proportionalism is superior to its competitors. It captures some intuitions they leave out and it has a powerful motivation. So, we suggest, you should keep things in proportion.
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Archival date: 2021-02-09
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