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Fairness as "appropriate impartiality" and the problem of self-serving bias

Newey, Charlotte A. 2016. Fairness as "appropriate impartiality" and the problem of self-serving bias. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice , pp. 1-15. 10.1007/s10677-015-9665-6

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Garrett Cullity contends that fairness is appropriate impartiality (See Cullity (2004) Chapters 8 and 10 and Cullity (2008)). Cullity deploys his account of fairness as a means of limiting the extreme moral demand to make sacrifices in order to aid others that was posed by Peter Singer in his seminal article ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’. My paper is founded upon the combination of (1) the observation that the idea that fairness consists in appropriate impartiality is very vague and (2) the fact that psychological studies show the self-serving bias is especially likely to infect one’s judgements when the ideas involved are vague. I argue that Cullity’s solution to extreme moral demandingness is threatened by these findings. I then comment on whether some other theories of fairness are vulnerable to the same objection.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Additional Information: First online: 12 December 2015 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1386-2820
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 17 November 2015
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:37

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