Chapter

<i>The Division of the Cooperative Surplus</i>

Catherine Wilson

in Moral Animals

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780199267675
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601859 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199267677.003.0006
The Division of the Cooperative Surplus

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According to Hobbes’ Theorem, moral practices increase the co‐operative surplus. Other, non‐moral social mechanisms, such as those described and endorsed by Robert Nozick determine to a great extent, however, the allocation of the surplus. Chapter 6 asks to what extent observed disparities in well‐being enjoyed and deprivation endured are morally acceptable. The ‘basic’ co‐operation that characterizes most organised human activities is distinguished from morally superior ‘symmetrical’ co‐operation and its relevance to the problems of distributive justice is explored. The requisites of a decent human life are discussed, and three tiers of goods are identified as the known, presumptive, and doubtful and speculative components of well‐being.

Keywords: co‐operation; deprivation; distributive justice; Nozick; well‐being

Chapter.  18412 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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