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Peter Vallentyne
University of Missouri, Columbia
  1. Brute Luck and Responsibility.Peter Vallentyne - 2008 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (1):57-80.
    The concept of agent-responsibility for an outcome (that is, of the outcome reflecting the autonomous choice of the agent) is central to both ethics and political philosophy. The concept, however, remains radically under-explored. In particular, the issue of partial responsibility for an outcome needs further development. I propose an account of partial responsibility based on partial causal contribution. Agents who choose autonomously in full knowledge of the consequences are agent-responsible, I claim, for the shift in the objective probability of the (...)
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  2. Distributive Justice.Peter Vallentyne - 2007 - In Robert Goodin, Philip Pettit & Thomas Pogge (eds.), Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy. Blackwell.
    The word “justice” is used in several different ways. First, justice is sometimes understood as moral permissibility applied to distributions of benefits and burdens (e.g., income distributions) or social structures (e.g., legal systems). In this sense, justice is distinguished by the kind of entity to which it is applied, rather than a specific kind of moral concern.
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  3. Nozick’s Libertarian Theory of Justice.Peter Vallentyne - 2011 - In Ralf Bader & John Meadowcroft (eds.), Anarchy, State, and Utopia--A Reappraisal. Cambridge University Press.
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  4. Libertarian Theories of Intergenerational Justice.Peter Vallentyne & Hillel Steiner - 2009 - In Axel Gosseries & Lukas Meyer (eds.), Justice Between Generations. Oxford University Press.
    Justice and Libertarianism The term ‘justice’ is commonly used in several different ways. Sometimes it designates the moral permissibility of political structures (such as legal systems). Sometimes it designates moral fairness (as opposed to efficiency or other considerations that are relevant to moral permissibility). Sometimes it designates legitimacy in the sense of it being morally impermissible for others to interfere forcibly with the act or omission (e.g., my failing to go to dinner with my mother may be wrong but nonetheless (...)
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  5. Libertarianism and the State.Peter Vallentyne - 2007 - Social Philosophy and Policy 24 (1):187-205.
    Although Robert Nozick has argued that libertarianism is compatible with the justice of a minimal state—even if does not arise from mutual consent—few have been persuaded. I will outline a different way of establishing that a non-consensual libertarian state can be just. I will show that a state can—with a few important qualifications—justly enforce the rights of citizens, extract payments to cover the costs of such enforcement, redistribute resources to the poor, and invest in infrastructure to overcome market failures. Footnotesa (...)
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  6. Left-Libertarianism.Peter Vallentyne - 2012 - In David Estlund (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 152.
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  7. Brute Luck Equality and Desert.Peter Vallentyne - 2003 - In Sabrina Olsaretti (ed.), Desert and Justice. Clarendon Press.
    In recent years, interest in desert-based theories of justice has increased, and this seems to represent a challenge to equality-based theories of justice.[i] The best distribution of outcomeadvantage with respect to desert, after all, need not be the most equal distribution of outcomeadvantage. Some individuals may deserve more than others. Outcome egalitarianism is, however, implausible, and so the conflict of outcome desert with outcome equality is of little significance.[ii] Most contemporary versions of egalitarianism are concerned with neutralizing the differential effects (...)
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  8. Enforcement Rights Against Non‐Culpable Non‐Just Intrusion.Peter Vallentyne - 2011 - Ratio 24 (4):422-442.
    I articulate and defend a principle governing enforcement rights in response to a non‐culpable non‐just rights‐intrusion. The account requires that the use of force reduce the harm from such intrusions and is sensitive to the extent to which the intruder is agent‐responsible for imposing intrusion‐harm.
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  9. On the Possibility of Nonaggregative Priority for the Worst Off.Marc Fleurbaey, Bertil Tungodden & Peter Vallentyne - 2009 - Social Philosophy and Policy 26 (1):258-285.
    We shall focus on moral theories that are solely concerned with promoting the benefits (e.g., wellbeing) of individuals and explore the possibility of such theories ascribing some priority to benefits to those who are worse off—without this priority being absolute. Utilitarianism (which evaluates alternatives on the basis of total or average benefits) ascribes no priority to the worse off, and leximin (which evaluates alternatives by giving lexical priority to the worst off, and then the second worst off, and so on) (...)
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  10. The Rights and Duties of Childrearing.Peter Vallentyne - 2003 - William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 11:991-1010.
    What rights and duties do adults have with respect to raising children? Who, for example, has the right to decide how and where a particular child will live, be educated, receive health care, and spend recreational time? I argue that neither biological (gene-provider) nor..
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  11. Against Maximizing Act-Consequentialism (June 30, 2008).Peter Vallentyne - 2006 - In James Dreier (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Moral Theories. Blackwell. pp. 6--21.
    Maximizing act consequentialism holds that actions are morally permissible if and only if they maximize the value of consequences—if and only if, that is, no alternative action in the given choice situation has more valuable consequences.[i] It is subject to two main objections. One is that it fails to recognize that morality imposes certain constraints on how we may promote value. Maximizing act consequentialism fails to recognize, I shall argue, that the ends do not always justify the means. Actions with (...)
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  12. Responsibility and False Beliefs.Peter Vallentyne - 2011 - In Carl Knight & Zofia Stemplowska (eds.), Justice and Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
    An individual is agent-responsible for an outcome just in case it flows from her autonomous agency in the right kind of way. The topic of agent-responsibility is important because most people believe that agents should be held morally accountable (e.g., liable to punishment or having an obligation to compensate victims) for outcomes for which they are agent-responsible and because many other people (e.g., brute luck egalitarians) hold that agents should not be held accountable for outcomes for which they are not (...)
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  13. Left-Libertarianism and Liberty.Peter Vallentyne - 2009 - In Thomas Christiano & John Christman (eds.), Debates in Political Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 17--137.
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  14. Equality, Brute Luck, and Initial Opportunities.Peter Vallentyne - 2002 - Ethics 112:529-557.
    In the old days, material egalitarians tended to favor equality of outcome advantage, on some suitable conception of advantage (happiness, resources, etc.). Under the influence of Dworkin’s seminal articles on equality[i], contemporary material egalitarians have tended to favor equality of brute luck advantage—on the grounds that this permits people to be held appropriately accountable for the benefits and burdens of their choices. I shall argue, however, that a plausible conception of egalitarian justice requires neither that brute luck advantage always be (...)
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  15. Equality and the Duties of Procreators.Peter Vallentyne - 2002 - In David Archard & Colin Macleod (eds.), Children and Political Theory. Oxford University Press.
    I formulate and defend a theory of special procreative duties in the context of a liberal egalitarian theory of justice. I argue that (1) the only special duty that procreators owe their offspring is that of ensuring that their life prospects are non-negative (worth living), and (2) the only special duty that procreators owe others is that of ensuring that they are not disadvantaged by the procreators’ offspring (a) violating their rights or (b) adversely affecting their equality rights and duties.
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  16. Consequentialism.Peter Vallentyne - 2007 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), Ethics in Practice 3rd edition. Blackwell.
    Ethics in Practice, 3rd edition, edited by Hugh La Follette (Blackwell Publishers, forthcoming 2007).
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  17. Moral Dilemmas and Comparative Conceptions of Morality.Peter Vallentyne - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):117-124.
    Earl Conee is a well known contemporary defender of the impossibility of moral dilemmas. In his 1982 paper "Against Moral Dilemmas" he argued that moral dilemmas are impossible because the existence of such a dilemma would entail that some obligatory action is forbidden, which is absurd. More recently, in "Why Moral Dilemmas are Impossible" he has defended the impossibility of moral dilemmas by claiming that the moral status of an action depends in part on the moral status of its alternatives. (...)
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  18. Libertarianism and the Rejection of a Basic Income.Peter Vallentyne - 2011 - Basic Income Studies 6:1-12.
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  19. Taxation, Redistribution and Property Rights.Peter Vallentyne - 2012 - In Andrei Marmor (ed.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Law. Routledge.
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  20. The Nomic Role Account of Carving Reality at the Joints.Peter Vallentyne - 1998 - Synthese 115 (2):171-198.
    Natural properties are those that carve reality at the joints. The notion of carving reality at the joints, however, is somewhat obscure, and is often understood in terms of making for similarity, conferring causal powers, or figuring in the laws of nature. I develop and assess an account of the third sort according to which carving reality at the joints is understood as having the right level of determinacy relative to nomic roles. The account has the attraction of involving very (...)
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  21. Equal Negative Liberty and Welfare Rights.Peter Vallentyne - 2011 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (2):237-41.
    In Are Equal Liberty and Equality Compatible?, Jan Narveson and James Sterba insightfully debate whether a right to maximum equal negative liberty requires, or at least is compatible with, a right to welfare. Narveson argues that the two rights are incompatible, whereas Sterba argues that the rights are compatible and indeed that the right to maximum equal negative liberty requires a right to welfare. I argue that Sterba is correct that the two rights are conceptually compatible and that Narveson is (...)
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  22. Justice in General: An Introduction.Peter Vallentyne - 2003 - In Equality and Justice: Justice in General. Routledge.
    This is the first volume of Equality and Justice, a six-volume collection of the most important articles of the twentieth century on the topic of justice and equality. This volume addresses the following three (only loosely related) issues: (1) What is the concept of justice? (2) Is justice primarily a demand on individuals or on societies? (3) What are the relative merits of conceptions of justice based on equality, based on priority for those who have less, and based on ensuring (...)
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  23. On Original Appropriation.Peter Vallentyne - 2007 - In Malcolm Murray (ed.), Liberty, Games, and Contracts: Jan Narveson and the Defence of Libertarianism. Aldershot: Ashgate Press.
    Libertarianism holds that agents initially fully own themselves. Lockean libertarianism further holds that agents have the moral power to acquire private property in external things as long as a Lockean Proviso—requiring that “enough and as good” be left for others—is satisfied. Radical right-libertarianism, on the other hand, holds that satisfaction of a Lockean Proviso is not necessary for the appropriation of unowned things. This is sometimes defended on the ground that the initial status of external resources as unowned precludes any (...)
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  24. Left-Libertarianism as a Promising Form of Liberal Egalitarianism.Peter Vallentyne - 2009 - Philosophical Exchange:56-71.
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  25. Who Are the Least Advantaged?Peter Vallentyne & Bertil Tungodden - 2006 - In Nils Holtug & Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (eds.), Egalitarianism: New Essays on the Nature and Value of Equality. Oxford University Press.
    The difference principle, introduced by Rawls (1971, 1993), is generally interpreted as leximin, but this is not how he intended it. Rawls explicitly states that the difference principle requires that aggregate benefits (e.g., average or total) to those in the least advantaged group be given lexical priority over benefits to others, where the least advantaged group includes more than the strictly worst off individuals. We study the implications of adopting different approaches to the definition of the least advantaged group and (...)
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  26. Left-Libertarian Theories of Justice.Peter Vallentyne - 1999 - Revue Economique 50:859-878.
    Libertarian theories of justice hold that agents, at least initially, own themselves fully, and thus owe no service to others, except through voluntary action. The most familiar libertarian theories are right-libertarian in that they hold that natural resources are initially unowned and, under a broad range of realistic circumstances, can be privately appropriated without the consent of, or any significant payment to, the other members of society. Leftlibertarian theories, by contrast, hold that natural resources are owned by the members of (...)
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  27. Paretian Egalitarianism with Variable Population Size.Peter Vallentyne & Bertil Tungodden - 2007 - In John Roemer & Kotaro Suzumura (eds.), Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability. Palgrave Publishers.
    in Intergenerational Equity and Sustainability, edited by John Roemer and Kotaro Suzumura, (Palgrave Publishers Ltd., forthcoming 2007), ch.11.
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  28. On Mack on Locke on Property.Peter Vallentyne - 2013 - Liberty Matters.
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  29. Liberal Resourcism: Problems and Possibilities.Peter Vallentyne & Bertil Tungodden - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (4):348-369.
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  30. On the Duty of Altruism.Peter Vallentyne - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):118-120.
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  31. The Problem of Unauthorized Welfare.Peter Vallentyne - 1991 - Noûs 25 (3):295-321.
    This problem has already been discussed by a number of authors.[i] Typically, however, authors take one of two extreme positions: they hold that all welfare should be taken at face value, or they hold that "suspect" welfare should be completely ignored. My contribution here is the following: First, I introduce the notion of unauthorized (suspect) welfare, of which welfare from meddlesome preferences, offensive tastes, expensive tastes, etc. are special cases. Second, I formulate four conditions of adequacy, applicable to any welfare-based (...)
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  32. “Answers to Five Questions on Normative Ethics”.Peter Vallentyne - 2007 - In Jesper Ryberg & Thomas S. Peterson (eds.), Normative Ethics: Five Questions. Automatic Press/VIP.
    I came late to philosophy and even later to normative ethics. When I started my undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto in 1970, I was interested in mathematics and languages. I soon discovered, however, that my mathematical talents were rather meager compared to the truly talented. I therefore decided to study actuarial science (the applied mathematics of risk assessment for insurance and pension plans) rather than abstract math. After two years, however, I dropped out of university, went to work (...)
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  33. “Response-Dependence, Rigidification, and Objectivity”, Erkenntnis 44 (1995): 101-112.Peter Vallentyne - 1995 - Erkenntnis 44:101-112.
    A fully developed sophisticated response-dependent account would fill in specifications for B (the beings) and C (the conditions), would probably replace the reference to disapproval with a reference to a more complex response, and might involve a more complex scheme.[ii] For simplicity, however, I shall focus my argument on the above simple scheme of moral wrongness, since added complexities will be irrelevant to my argument.
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