Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 4
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Adler, Matthew D. and Treich, Nicolas 2015. Prioritarianism and Climate Change. Environmental and Resource Economics, Vol. 62, Issue. 2, p. 279.

    GREAVES, HILARY 2015. Antiprioritarianism. Utilitas, Vol. 27, Issue. 01, p. 1.

    HYAMS, KEITH 2015. Hypothetical Choice, Egalitarianism and the Separateness of Persons. Utilitas, Vol. 27, Issue. 02, p. 217.

    Weber, Michael 2014. Prioritarianism. Philosophy Compass, Vol. 9, Issue. 11, p. 756.


In Defence of the Priority View

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 31 August 2012

In their paper ‘Why It Matters That Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument against the Priority View’, Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve argue that prioritarianism is mistaken. I argue that their case against prioritarianism has much weaker foundations than it might at first seem. Their key argument is based on the claim that prioritarianism ignores the fact of the ‘separateness of persons’. However, prioritarianism, far from ignoring that fact, is a plausible response to it. It may be that prioritarianism disregards the fact of the ‘unity of the individual’. But even if this is true, that doesn't straightforwardly tell against prioritarianism as a view about distributive justice. In the end, Otsuka and Voorhoeve's argument relies on a non-decisive intuition that they appeal to early in their paper. Their conclusion, as a result, is not compelling.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Michael Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve , ‘Why It Matters That Some Are Worse Off Than Others: An Argument against the Priority View’, Philosophy & Public Affairs 37.2 (2009), pp. 171–99

Peter Ubel , ‘Value Measurement in Cost-Utility Analysis: Explaining the Discrepancy between Rating Scale and Person Trade-Off Elicitations’, Health Policy 43 (1998), pp. 3344

Larry Temkin has written extensively on this point. See for example his ‘Egalitarianism Defended’, Ethics 113 (2003), pp. 764–82

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *