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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses different accounts of how to aggregate individual advantages, including utilitarianism, egalitarianism, prioritarianism, and leximin. It distinguishes between these principles in terms of conditions such as the Pareto principle, strong separability, relationality, and the Pigou-Dalton principle of transfer. Furthermore, it accounts for how these distributive principles may be justified and for the main strengths and weaknesses of each. In particular, it focuses on the extent to which these principles violate (different versions of) the separateness of persons and whether they invite the leveling down objection, and if so how damaging such violations and objections are. Finally, some general worries about aggregation are considered.

Keywords: aggregation, utilitarianism, egalitarianism, prioritarianism, levelling down, separateness of persons

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