Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/288752
Title:
An expressive theory of desert
Author:
Favor, Christi, Dawn, 1968-
Issue Date:
1997
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:
It is common in our everyday social and political life to justify such treatments as punishment, income, prizes, grades, or jobs by appealing to what people deserve. We claim that criminals deserve to go to prison for their wrongdoing, and that the amount of punishment which is appropriate has to do with how much they deserve. And we feel, even as children, the injustice of punishment, which is undeserved. Employees engage in bitter strikes not just because they want more income, but because they strongly believe they deserve more. Yet despite the importance of these claims in our everyday lives, philosophers have given the concept of desert scant attention compared with other moral concepts. Consequently, our understanding of the structure and justification of desert is vague. In this thesis, I develop a conceptual theory of the logical structure of desert claims, arguing that the essence of desert is both evaluative and expressive. I argue that every desert claim implies three claims: a factual description of the agent, an evaluation of the agent's characteristics or behavior, and a claim as to what treatment of the agent would effectively express the evaluation. For example, to say Smith deserves a prison sentence for robbing the bank is to say Smith robbed the bank, robbing the bank is worthy of our strong disapproval, and sending Smith to prison is an effective way to express this disapproval. Understanding desert claims this way allows a richer understanding of the justification for these claims, and of the relationship between desert and other moral concepts, such as entitlement.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Philosophy.; Political Science, General.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Philosophy
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Feinberg, Joel

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleAn expressive theory of deserten_US
dc.creatorFavor, Christi, Dawn, 1968-en_US
dc.contributor.authorFavor, Christi, Dawn, 1968-en_US
dc.date.issued1997en_US
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.abstractIt is common in our everyday social and political life to justify such treatments as punishment, income, prizes, grades, or jobs by appealing to what people deserve. We claim that criminals deserve to go to prison for their wrongdoing, and that the amount of punishment which is appropriate has to do with how much they deserve. And we feel, even as children, the injustice of punishment, which is undeserved. Employees engage in bitter strikes not just because they want more income, but because they strongly believe they deserve more. Yet despite the importance of these claims in our everyday lives, philosophers have given the concept of desert scant attention compared with other moral concepts. Consequently, our understanding of the structure and justification of desert is vague. In this thesis, I develop a conceptual theory of the logical structure of desert claims, arguing that the essence of desert is both evaluative and expressive. I argue that every desert claim implies three claims: a factual description of the agent, an evaluation of the agent's characteristics or behavior, and a claim as to what treatment of the agent would effectively express the evaluation. For example, to say Smith deserves a prison sentence for robbing the bank is to say Smith robbed the bank, robbing the bank is worthy of our strong disapproval, and sending Smith to prison is an effective way to express this disapproval. Understanding desert claims this way allows a richer understanding of the justification for these claims, and of the relationship between desert and other moral concepts, such as entitlement.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectPhilosophy.en_US
dc.subjectPolitical Science, General.en_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.advisorFeinberg, Joelen_US
dc.identifier.proquest9814383en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b37741937en_US
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