5th  boulder workshop in

formal value theory


Organised by:

Graham Oddie (Director,  Center for Values and Social Policy),

Zak Kopeikin (Assistant to the Director, Center for Values and Social Policy).

Due to travel disruptions occasioned by the pandemic the 5th  Formal Value Theory Workshop has had to be rescheduled.  So we will go online and spread the sessions out over the year - about one each month. The exact time will not be fixed but arranged about a month in advance.  I have kept the original schedule below for information purposes only.

Session 1: Sunday September 27

     10.00 am - 1115 am MST

H. Orri Stefánsson (University of Stockholm & Swedish Collegium for Advanced Studies)

Jake Nebel (University of Southern California)     

Calibration Dilemmas in the Ethics of Distribution

Abstract: This paper presents a new kind of problem in the ethics of distribution. The problem takes the form of several "calibration dilemmas," in which intuitively reasonable aversion to small-stakes inequalities requires leading theories of distribution to recommend intuitively unreasonable aversion to large-stakes inequalities---e.g., inequalities in which half the population would gain an arbitrarily large quantity of well-being or resources. We first lay out a series of such dilemmas for a family of broadly prioritarian theories. We then consider a widely endorsed family of egalitarian views and show that, despite avoiding the dilemmas for prioritarianism, they are subject to even more forceful calibration dilemmas. We then show how our results challenge common utilitarian accounts of the badness of inequalities in resources (e.g., wealth inequality). These dilemmas leave us with a few options, all of which we find unpalatable. We conclude by laying out these options and suggesting avenues for further research.

Email Graham Oddie (oddie@colorado.edu) for Zoom details and password.

Session 2:  Sunday November 1

Time to be determined.

     Julia Staffel     (University of Colorado)

Glauber De Bona (University of São Paolo)

Title and abstract: tba