Well-Being and Fairness
Philosophical Studies, Vol. 131, No. 2, pp. 369-391, 2006
23 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2005
In simple interpersonal conflicts, in which two persons are in danger of harm that it is possible to prevent only partly, there are two, potentially clashing, considerations, each reflecting a different conception of fairness. According to the Equal Chance Principle, the harm for each person should be minimized in a significant and (roughly) equal degree; when this is impossible, each person should be accorded the highest possible equal chance to avoid the harm. According to the Importance Principle, the danger to the person who would otherwise suffer the more serious harm should be prevented. The paper analyses this clash and suggests an outline of a general resolution.
Keywords: Well-Being, Fairness, Impartiality, Consequentialism, Utilitarianism
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