Hierarchical consequentialism

Re'Em Segev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The article considers a hierarchical theory that combines concern for two values: individual well-being - as a fundamental, first-order value - and (distributive) fairness - as a high-order value whose exclusive function is to complete the value of individual well-being by resolving internal clashes within it that occur in interpersonal conflicts. The argument for this unique conception of high-order fairness is that fairness is morally significant in itself only regarding what matters - individual well-being - and when it matters - in interpersonal conflicts in which constitutive aspects of individual well-being clash. Consequently, the proposed theory is not exposed to the claim that fairness comes at the expense of welfare. This theory is considered within a consequential framework, based on the standard version and, alternatively, on a novel interpretation of consequentialism. Thus, it refutes the claim that consequentialism does not take the distinction between persons seriously.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)309-330
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


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