Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Distributive Justice and DisabilityUtilitarianism against Egalitarianism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark S. Stein

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100570

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100570.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022



(p.119) VII Dworkin
Distributive Justice and Disability

Mark S. Stein

Yale University Press

Known for his disdain for utilitarianism, Ronald Dworkin offers a non-utilitarian solution to the problem of redistribution to the disabled: hypothetical insurance. Dworkin expounds on hypothetical insurance in his book Sovereign Virtue, which also tackles distributive justice. This chapter argues that Dworkin's hypothetical insurance is in reality a form of utilitarianism and may be considered a type of hypothetical-choice utilitarianism similar to early efforts by utilitarian economists John Harsanyi and William Vickrey. It first shows that hypothetical insurance makes use of a greater-benefit criterion, in a manner similar to utilitarianism, and suggests that its appeal lies in its ability to make interpersonal welfare comparisons in aid of utilitarian judgments. It then claims that hypothetical insurance has no secure basis in what Dworkin presents as his wider egalitarian theory. The chapter concludes by looking at Dworkin's attempts to distinguish his system from utilitarianism.

Keywords:   utilitarianism, Ronald Dworkin, redistribution, hypothetical insurance, Sovereign Virtue, distributive justice, hypothetical-choice utilitarianism, John Harsanyi, William Vickrey, greater-benefit criterion

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.