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Good reasons for losers: lottery justification and social risk

Spiekermann, Kai ORCID: 0000-0003-4983-5589 (2021) Good reasons for losers: lottery justification and social risk. Economics and Philosophy. ISSN 0266-2671

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0266267121000043


Many goods are distributed by processes that involve randomness. In lotteries, randomness is used to promote fairness. When taking social risks, randomness is a feature of the process. The losers of such decisions ought to be given a reason why they should accept the outcome. Surprisingly, good reasons demand more than merely equal ex ante chances. What is also required is a true statement of the form: ‘the result could easily have gone the other way and you could have been the winner’. This rules in standard lotteries but rules out many lotteries based on merely epistemic probability.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2021 10:03
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 04:11

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