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  • Harrison P. Frye (a1)

A common justification offered for unequal pay is that it encourages socially beneficial productivity. G. A. Cohen famously criticizes this argument for not questioning the behaviour and attitudes that make those incentives necessary. I defend the communal status of incentives against Cohen's challenge. I argue that Cohen's criticism fails to appreciate two different contexts in which we might grant incentives. We might grant unequal payment to someone because they demand it. However, unequal payment might be an offer instead. I claim that incentives as offers promote the ideal of society as a cooperative venture for mutual advantage.

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