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Distributive Justice and DisabilityUtilitarianism against Egalitarianism$
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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

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Welfarism Weighted or Unweighted?

Welfarism Weighted or Unweighted?

(p.180) IX Welfarism Weighted or Unweighted?
Distributive Justice and Disability

Mark S. Stein

Yale University Press

Compared with resource egalitarians, who cannot incorporate utilitarianism into their distributive theories without some modifications, welfare egalitarians make compromises with utilitarianism in two ways. Some are ethical pluralists, who simultaneously abide by a number of different distributive principles, including welfare egalitarianism and utilitarianism. Other welfare egalitarians propose a kind of weighted welfarism known as prioritarianism; they argue that society should seek to increase the welfare of everyone, but should give more importance to the welfare of those who are worse off. This chapter explores prioritarianism, focusing on the views of Amartya Sen, G. A. Cohen, Norman Daniels, and Martha Nussbaum. It presents examples that highlight the conflict between utilitarianism and prioritarianism.

Keywords:   utilitarianism, welfare egalitarianism, weighted welfarism, prioritarianism, Amartya Sen, G. A. Cohen, Norman Daniels, Martha Nussbaum

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