more from Jonathan Wolff

Single Idea 20526

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 1. Grounds of equality]

Full Idea

The utilitarian argument for equality assumes that people have 'diminishing marginal returns' for goods. If there are two people and two nice chocolate biscuits, then utilitarianism is likely to recommend one each.

Gist of Idea

Utilitarians argue for equal distribution because of diminishing utility of repetition


Jonathan Wolff (An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev) [2006], 5 'Arguments')

Book Reference

Wolff,Jonathan: 'An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Rev)' [OUP 2006], p.151

A Reaction

The point is that the second biscuit provides slightly diminished pleasure. This is why you can buy boxes of assorted biscuits, which you are then not required to share.