Fairness and the Strengths of Agents' Claims

Utilitas 28 (3):347-360 (2016)
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John Broome has proposed a theory of fairness according to which fairness requires that agents’ claims to goods be satisfied in proportion to the relative strength of those claims. In the case of competing claims for a single indivisible good, Broome argues that what fairness requires is the use of a weighted lottery as a surrogate to satisfying the competing claims: the relative chance of each claimant's winning the lottery should be set to the relative strength of each claimant's claim. In this journal, James Kirkpatrick and Nick Eastwood have objected that the use of weighted lotteries in the case of indivisible goods is unacceptable. In this article, I explain why Kirkpatrick and Eastwood's objection misses its mark.

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Nathaniel Sharadin
University of Hong Kong


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