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Oct
18
2017
10:00-12:00

Research Seminar

Brad Hooker: Fairness


Professor Brad Hooker, Philosophy Department, University of Reading.

Consider the view that an individual behaves unfairly if, only if, and because
(1) The individual treats people who are NOT relevantly different as if they’re relevantly different (e.g., men / women, whites / non-whites, etc.)
And
(2) The individual fails to treat people who ARE relevantly different in accordance with their relevant difference (e.g., needy/non-needy, someone who has a right against the individual/someone who doesn’t have a right against the individual, etc.).

My paper will try to clarify this view, say what speaks in favour of it, and then raise objections to it. One objection is that there are morally relevant differences between people that are irrelevant to fairness. Another objection is that the above account makes the unfairness of an action always a matter of the comparison between the treatment of different people, and yet sometimes unfairness is not comparative in that way.

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