Hierarchical Consequentialism

Utilitas, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 309-330, 2010

22 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2012

See all articles by Re'em Segev

Re'em Segev

Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 12, 2012


The paper considers a hierarchical theory that combines concern for two values: individual well-being – as a fundamental, first-order value – and (distributive) fairness – as a high-order value that its exclusive function is to complete the value of individual well-being by resolving internal clashes within it that occur in interpersonal conflicts. The argument for this unique conception of high-order fairness is that fairness is morally significant in itself only regarding what matters – individual well-being – and when it matters – in interpersonal conflicts in which constitutive aspects of individual well-being clash. Consequently, the proposed theory is not exposed to claim that fairness comes at the expense of welfare. This theory is considered within a consequential framework, based on the standard version and, alternatively, on a novel interpretation of consequentialism. Thus, it refutes the claim that consequentialism does not take the distinction between persons seriously.

Suggested Citation

Segev, Re'em, Hierarchical Consequentialism (July 12, 2012). Utilitas, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 309-330, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2103988

Re'em Segev (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905

HOME PAGE: http://en.law.huji.ac.il/people/reem-segev

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