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22 March: Violetta Igneski

“Fairness, Beneficence and Slack-taking”

Abstract: When groups of people share ends or are obligated to act together, individuals in these groups ought to do their fair shares.  Individual fair shares are typically determined on the assumption that all members will comply with their duties.  But what is required under conditions of partial compliance?  Focusing on our duties toward persons in need, I defend a version of the fair share view and argue against recent views in support of slack-taking duties.  I argue that questions about fairness and equality in the the context of distributing shares of collective duties should be distinguished from questions about demandingness and thresholds in the context of individual duties.  The consequence of distinguishing between these different types of duties is that we can consistently claim both that we do not have a duty to pick up the slack and also that our obligations are more demanding when others fail to comply with their obligations.