Mike Otsuka: Determinism and the value and fairness of lotteries

Datum: 13 december 2023
Tid: 15:00-16:45

Venue: Institute for Futures Studies, Holländargatan 13 in Stockholm, and online

Note that the speaker will join us online.

Research seminar with Mike Otsuka, Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University.



It follows from plausible claims about the laws of physics and the narrowness of the most relevant reference class that the positive chances between 0% and 100% that lotteries yield for particular individuals are merely epistemic rather than objective. I argue that the provision by lottery of merely epistemically equal positive chances of an indivisible good to those with equal claims nevertheless renders things fairer. It does so by providing the equal distribution of something that it is rational to value equally, by means of a process of allocation that makes a material difference to what people end up receiving.

The seminar is arranged by the Institute for Futures Studies and Center for Population-Level Bioethics at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.

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