Egalitarianism and the separateness of persons

Alex Voorhoeve, Marc Fleurbaey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The difference between the unity of the individual and the separateness of persons requires that there be a shift in the moral weight that we accord to changes in utility when we move from making intrapersonal trade-offs to making interpersonal trade-offs. We examine which forms of egalitarianism can, and which cannot, account for this shift. We argue that a form of egalitarianism which is concerned only with the extent of outcome inequality cannot account for this shift. We also argue that a view which is concerned with both outcome inequality and with the unfairness of inequality in individuals expected utilities can account for this shift. Finally, we limn an alternative view, on which such inequalities are not intrinsically bad, but nonetheless determine the strength of individuals competing claims. We argue that this Competing Claims View can also account for the shift.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-398
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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