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Similarity and the trustworthiness of distributive judgements
London Sch Econ & Polit Sci, Dept Philosophy Log & Sci Method, London, England;Erasmus Univ, Dept Appl Econ, Rotterdam, Netherlands;Erasmus Univ, Dept Philosophy, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
Source Clear, San Francisco, CA USA.
2019 (English)In: Economics and Philosophy, ISSN 0266-2671, E-ISSN 1474-0028, Vol. 35, no 3, p. 537-561Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When people must either save a greater number of people from a smaller harm or a smaller number from a greater harm, do their choices reflect a reasonable moral outlook? We pursue this question with the help of an experiment. In our experiment, two-fifths of subjects employ a similarity heuristic. When alternatives appear dissimilar in terms of the number saved but similar in terms of the magnitude of harm prevented, this heuristic mandates saving the greater number. In our experiment, this leads to choices that are inconsistent with all standard theories of justice. We argue that this demonstrates the untrustworthiness of distributive judgements in cases that elicit similarity-based choice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS , 2019. Vol. 35, no 3, p. 537-561
Keywords [en]
similarity, distributive justice, moral decision-making, heuristics, reflective equilibrium
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-406720DOI: 10.1017/S0266267118000457ISI: 000510697700009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-406720DiVA, id: diva2:1414349
Available from: 2020-03-12 Created: 2020-03-12 Last updated: 2020-03-12Bibliographically approved

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Stefánsson, Arnaldur

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