Fairness and Non‐Compliance*

Michael Ridge

in Partiality and Impartiality

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579952
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595233 | DOI:
Fairness and Non‐Compliance*

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This chapter explores the idea that intuitions often characterized in terms of ‘demandingness’ are better understood in terms of fairness. It focuses on the case of duties of beneficence. This approach is a compromise between unconstrained maximizing beneficence (as defended, e.g., by Singer and Unger) and beneficence as strictly constrained in conditions of partial compliance by fair shares under full compliance (as defended by Liam Murphy). Like Murphy, the account offered takes fairness seriously. Like Singer and Unger, this account also insists that we may sometimes have a duty to pick up some of the slack of those who do not fully comply. For Singer and Unger, the perspective of those in absolute poverty seems to be completely dominant in determining our duties in conditions of partial compliance, while for Murphy the perspective of the affluent seems more dominant. The approach attempts to do adequate justice to both perspectives by analyzing such cases in terms of a fair distribution of what he calls the ‘burdens of non-compliance’.

Keywords: fairness; non-ideal; compliance; distribution; impartiality; demanding; free rider; Liam Murphy; collective

Chapter.  14516 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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