A Defence of the Relevance View in Ethics
When different parties have claims on an agent for limited aid, the agent must decide whose claims to satisfy. Individuals’ claims have a certain strength depending on how much they have to gain by receiving aid. To determine which party’s claims to satisfy, some views say that we should simply weigh the claims of competing parties against each other. Other views say that we should satisfy the set of claims that contains the strongest overall claim and should not do any weighing at all beyond this. The Relevance View accepts that we can weigh competing claims but puts a constraint on when one kind of claim can outweigh another kind of claim. Claims of one kind must be relevant to claims of another kind in order to outweigh them. The Relevance View also stipulates that one kind of claim is relevant to another kind of claim if the first claim is sufficiently close in strength to the second claim. This thesis aims to develop the best version of the Relevance View and defend it against the strongest objections. In Chapter 2, I will situate the Relevance View in relation to competing views and determine the best rationale for the view. In Chapter 3, I will defend the Relevance View against various sceptical arguments. In Chapters 4 and 5, I will show that the Relevance View can overcome certain objections from real-world settings when its scope is properly mapped out. In Chapter 6, I will show how the Relevance View can offer guidence when presented with a diverse range of competing claims.
Advisor: Moore, Andrew; Fenton, Elizabeth
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Philosophy
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Relevance View", "Limited Aggregation", "Restricted Aggregation", "Aggregate Relevant Claims", "Weak Aggregation", "Distributive Justice
Research Type: Thesis