Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/238657
Title:
Beyond Price Signaling: Choice, Information and Justice
Author:
Braynen, William
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation explores the role of information in justice, with an eye to taking choice seriously. Information is neither free nor ubiquitous, as has been obvious to economists for some time. Related puzzles are also prominent in epistemology and cognitive science, from framing effects to "fast and frugal heuristics". I import these concerns into distributive justice theory. One important goal of justice theory is to formulate what makes a socioeconomic institution just or unjust and provide criteria for judging whether one distribution of benefits and burdens is less unjust than another. Given the attention that voluntary choice has received in providing moral justification for unequal distributions, it is surprising that the related question of informed choice has been overlooked. Informed consent, for example, has more justificatory power than consent simpliciter. Information affects choice and choice affects outcomes. But if the costs and benefits of informing oneself are unknown to the agent before the point of choice but yet differ from agent to agent, then which allocation of information costs is just? This is a central question in this dissertation. Because the closest attempt to dealing with choices made under risk and uncertainty is Ronald Dworkin's brute/option luck distinction, I focus on option luck, framing distributive justice as interplay between process and pattern (chapter 2). I advance arguments for the following: option luck is insufficient for justice even if we presuppose ideal epistemic agents (chapter 3), how information is presented matters for justice between non-ideal epistemic agents (chapter 4), and informed choice requires cognitive fit between the agent and the agent's socioeconomic environment (chapter 5).I argue that Dworkin's hypothetical insurance market cannot guarantee any form of sufficientarianism even for affluent societies (chapter 6), proposing a different argument for sufficientarianism by combining (a) the perfect duty of beneficence with (b) the assumption that unfair disadvantages are unjust (chapter 7).I argue that the notion of option luck is ill-suited for cooperative contexts of socio-economic interactions (chapter 8) and outline how we could evaluate the justice of a given assignment of epistemic responsibilities, using buyer beware as a case study (chapter 9).
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
information; justice; political philosophy; Philosophy; distributive justice; economic justice
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Philosophy
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Christiano, Thomas

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleBeyond Price Signaling: Choice, Information and Justiceen_US
dc.creatorBraynen, Williamen_US
dc.contributor.authorBraynen, Williamen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation explores the role of information in justice, with an eye to taking choice seriously. Information is neither free nor ubiquitous, as has been obvious to economists for some time. Related puzzles are also prominent in epistemology and cognitive science, from framing effects to "fast and frugal heuristics". I import these concerns into distributive justice theory. One important goal of justice theory is to formulate what makes a socioeconomic institution just or unjust and provide criteria for judging whether one distribution of benefits and burdens is less unjust than another. Given the attention that voluntary choice has received in providing moral justification for unequal distributions, it is surprising that the related question of informed choice has been overlooked. Informed consent, for example, has more justificatory power than consent simpliciter. Information affects choice and choice affects outcomes. But if the costs and benefits of informing oneself are unknown to the agent before the point of choice but yet differ from agent to agent, then which allocation of information costs is just? This is a central question in this dissertation. Because the closest attempt to dealing with choices made under risk and uncertainty is Ronald Dworkin's brute/option luck distinction, I focus on option luck, framing distributive justice as interplay between process and pattern (chapter 2). I advance arguments for the following: option luck is insufficient for justice even if we presuppose ideal epistemic agents (chapter 3), how information is presented matters for justice between non-ideal epistemic agents (chapter 4), and informed choice requires cognitive fit between the agent and the agent's socioeconomic environment (chapter 5).I argue that Dworkin's hypothetical insurance market cannot guarantee any form of sufficientarianism even for affluent societies (chapter 6), proposing a different argument for sufficientarianism by combining (a) the perfect duty of beneficence with (b) the assumption that unfair disadvantages are unjust (chapter 7).I argue that the notion of option luck is ill-suited for cooperative contexts of socio-economic interactions (chapter 8) and outline how we could evaluate the justice of a given assignment of epistemic responsibilities, using buyer beware as a case study (chapter 9).en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectinformationen_US
dc.subjectjusticeen_US
dc.subjectpolitical philosophyen_US
dc.subjectPhilosophyen_US
dc.subjectdistributive justiceen_US
dc.subjecteconomic justiceen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorChristiano, Thomasen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKamtekar, Rachanaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGill, Michaelen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGrim, Patricken_US
dc.contributor.committeememberChristiano, Thomasen_US
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