Volume 116, Issue 9, September 2019
The Value of Chance and the Satisfaction of Claims
A new explanation for the fairness of lotteries is presented. The explanation draws on elements of John Broome's and Richard Bradley's accounts, but is distinct from both of them. I start with Broome's idea that the fairness of lotteries has something to do with satisfying claims in a way which is proportional to their strength. I present an intuitive explication of "the strength of a claim" and show that under this explication, the "personal good" for an individual gained by some proposition becoming true has a decreasing marginal contribution to the strength of the individual's claim for the proposition to be true. Then I use Bradley's account to deduce Broome's claim that fairness demands satisfying claims in a way which is proportional to their strength. Several implications of this account are discussed.