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Soziologisches Institut Prof. Dr. Katja Rost

Can a Dose of Randomness Help Fairness?

Timothy Taylor 25/08/2021

As the philosophers teach, there are many ways to think about “fairness.”

One common approach is to identify a source of what is deemed to be unfairness, or a practice that leads to outcomes deemed to be unfair, and then to address this specific practice or outcome in a direct way. However, there is also a line of philosophy which suggests that thinking about “fairness” might usefully include an element of randomness. For example, the outcome of a lottery is “fair,” not in the sense that it corrects or addresses other aspects of unfairness, but in the sense that every ticket has an equal chance of winning.

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