Outcomes, Reasons, and Equality
33 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2010
Date Written: October 2000
In this article, Christopher Peters responds to arguments made by Kenneth Simons in The Logic of Egalitarian Norms, 80 B.U. L. REV. 693 (2000), in which Professor Simons defends the normative value of equal treatment against Peters’s earlier critiques. Peters first explains and justifies his attack on deontological rather than consequentialist motivations for equal treatment. He then articulates a difference between two distinct conceptions of “treatment”: an outcome-focused and an holistic conception. Peters argues that the holistic conception must be accepted by anyone who defends a deontological theory of equality. Peters then explains how certain of Simons’s arguments in defense of deontological equality reflect either a mistaken reliance on an outcome-focused conception of treatments or a misunderstanding of the implications of an holistic conception.
Keywords: Kenneth Simons, equal treatment, normative values, deontological motivations, consequentialist motivations, holistic conception, outcome-focused conception
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation