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Abstract Nobel laureate James Buchanan downplays any theory of ethical politicians, focusing instead on rules which economize personal restraint, setting lower moral expectations. Through a constructive critique of James Buchanan’s work, I argue these lowered expectations come at a cost:...
Abstract The good of those who are worse off matters more to the overall good than the good of those who are better off does. But being worse off than one’s fellows is not itself bad; nor is inequality itself bad; nor do differences in well-being matter more when well-being is lower in an...
Abstract This article introduces an intuitive conservation dilemma called the Canyon Dilemma: Is it possible to condemn the mining of the Grand Canyon, even by a poor generation, while also permitting this generation’s mining of an unremarkable small canyon? It then argues that not one of...
Abstract This article considers whether any interpretation of the idea of equal claims to the natural world can resolve the Canyon Dilemma (i.e. can justify protecting the Grand Canyon but not a small canyon from mining by a poor generation). It first considers and ultimately rejects the idea of...
Abstract Why should ‘better than’ be transitive? The leading answer in ethics is that values do not change with context. But this cannot be the entire source of transitivity, I argue, since transitivity can fail even if values never change, so long as they are complex, with multiple dimensions...
Abstract The original position together with the veil of ignorance have served as one of the main methodological devices to justify principles of distributive justice. Most approaches to this topic have primarily focused on the single person decision-theoretic aspect of the original position....
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