Desert: Ground, Object, and Geometry
A special issue of Philosophies (ISSN 2409-9287).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 9252
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
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- The Good