Special Issue "Desert: Ground, Object, and Geometry"

A special issue of Philosophies (ISSN 2409-9287).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Stephen Kershnar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Philosophy, State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY 14063, USA
Interests: desert; rights

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We often think it is good or right that people get what they deserve. Philosophy has made enormous strides in exploring desert since the late 1980’s with noteworthy work by philosophers such as Richard Arneson, Fred Feldman, Thomas Hurka, Shelly Kagan, David Miller, George Sher, and Peter Vallentyne. This volume explores desert.

The discussion of desert has three different lines of inquiry. First, there is an issue of what desert is. In particular, there is disagreement as to whether desert is a feature of the good or the right. If desert is a feature of the good, there is an issue as to whether it is in itself intrinsically good or whether it is a feature of what makes something intrinsically good, for example, a state of affairs.

Second, there is disagreement as to what grounds desert. Different theories hold that people deserve things on the basis of contribution, effort, praise- and blameworthy acts, sacrifice, and virtue. This intersects with issues of whether a deserving person must be responsible for the basis of his or her desert and, also, whether the basis of his or her desert must precede that which is deserved. 

Third, there is disagreement on what people deserve. Philosophers disagree as to whether they deserve something general—for example, a lifetime well-being level—or something specific—for example, a job, an opportunity, or punishment. General desert raises the issue of the geometry of desert. The geometry of desert addresses the particular relation between a person’s well-being and intrinsic value. The relation is often represented on a geometrical graph and, thus, referred to as the geometry of desert. As the relation can be represented mathematically as well as geometrically, it also involves the mathematics of desert. In this volume, leading desert theorists will address these issues.

Prof. Stephen Kershnar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Philosophies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Desert
  • Merit
  • Ground
  • Object
  • Geometry
  • The Good
  • Wrongdoing
  • Virtue
  • Vice

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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