Prioritarianism and Single-Person Cases

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In this paper we argue that the use of survey data or intuitions about single person cases as a dialectically neutral data point for favouring telic egalitarianism over prioritarianism has dim prospects for success. We take as a case study Otsuka and Voorhoeve (2009)'s now well known paper and show that it either is either argumentatively irrelevant or question-begging, depending on whether the survey data about people's judgements concerning single-person cases is interpreted as being prudential or moral in character. We suggest that this problem is likely to generalise to other ways of trying to use intuitions or survey data about single-person cases, where those data or intuitions are not just treated as further direct moral intuitions about prioritarianism and telic egalitarianism.
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