Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 7 TT08
|Event Name||Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 7 TT08|
|Start Date||2nd Jun 2008 4:30pm|
|End Date||2nd Jun 2008 6:30pm|
Ben Saunders (Oxford): ‘Fairness, Democracy, and Lotteries’ to be held in the Lecture Room, 10 Merton Street, Oxford - Seminars in Moral Philosophy webpage
This paper challenges the common assumption that democracy requires majority rule. I assume that we can adopt a contractualist approach to uncover the demands of political equality and argue that contractors would not necessarily accept majority rule to make decisions in their society. I first reject broadly consequentialist arguments, arguing that firstly no procedure guarantees ideally best outcomes, secondly that in cases of pluralism there is no need to suppose there is a uniquely best outcome, and thirdly that we need to be fair between different individuals. I develop this need for fairness into a case for weighted lotteries, drawing on the Taurek-Scanlon 'saving the greater number' debate. This leads to my conclusion that democratic ideals can be realized by selecting a random vote to determine the outcomes of decisions.