AffiliationUniv Arizona, Social Sci
MetadataShow full item record
CitationMotchoulski, A. Synthese (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02443-y
Rights© Springer Nature B.V. 2019
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AbstractThis paper examines different mechanisms for adjudicating disagreement about distributive justice. It begins with a case where individuals have deeply conflicting convictions about distributive justice and must make a social choice regarding the distribution of goods. Four mechanisms of social choice are considered: social contract formation, Borda count vote, simple plurality vote, and minimax bargaining. I develop an agent-based model which examines which mechanisms lead to the greatest degree of satisfying justice-based preferences over the course iterated social choices. Agents are ascribed two kinds of motivations: they wish to realize justice and to receive a greater package of goods. Each agent seeks to realize her ideal distribution, and the failure to do so leaves agents "disappointed," resulting in their trading off the pursuit of gains in justice in favor of gains in self-interest. Mechanisms are assessed using the metric of how many agents remain interested in justice over the course of iterated adjudication. The mechanisms are also examined under some non-ideal conditions, such as the presence of power asymmetries or strategic behavior. Several significant results are addressed: social contract formation and simple plurality voting are robust under the conditions considered, bargaining is a highly ineffective means of adjudicating distributive disagreement, and lastly allowing for concessions in justice for gains in self-interest proves to be a crucial mechanism for ensuring the stability of resolutions.
Note12 month embargo: published online: 24 October 2019
VersionFinal accepted manuscript