The Apparent Asymmetry of Responsibility

Avner De-Shalit*, Jonathan Wolff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Should political institutions be designed so that individuals reap the benefits of their good choices and suffer the costs of their poor choices? This chapter argues for the 'weak asymmetry thesis': that people should be allowed to benefit from their choices that turn out well to a greater extent than they should have to bear the costs of those that turn out badly. The thesis is defended against the practical challenge that it would be impossible to implement and ethical challenges that argue in favour of symmetry.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationResponsibility and Distributive Justice
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780191725463
ISBN (Print)9780199565801
StatePublished - 1 May 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© the several contributors 2011. All rights reserved.


  • Asymmetry
  • Benefits
  • Burdens
  • Choice
  • Responsibility


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