Skip to main content

Is Age Special? Justice, Complete Lives and the Prudential Lifespan Account

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

<sc>abstract</sc>

This article explores the problem of justice between age‐groups. Specifically, it presents a challenge to a leading theory in this field, Norman Daniels' Prudential Lifespan Account. The challenge relates to a key assumption that underlies this theory, namely the assumption that all individuals live complete lives of equal length. Having identified the roles that this assumption plays, the article argues that the justifications Daniels offers for it are unsatisfactory and that this threatens the foundation of his position, undermining his claim that ‘the fact that we all age’ makes age a special problem of distributive justice. This shows that the problem of justice between age‐groups is not special in the way Daniels proposes; rather it involves the same irreducibly interpersonal distributive decisions as other problems of justice. The consequences of this argument are several‐fold. Most importantly, it shows that the Rawlsian account of justice to which Daniels hopes to attach his theory to requires significantly greater benefits to be conferred on those in earlier age‐groups relative to those in later age‐group, not a distribution similar to simultaneous equality as Daniels proposes.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hugh Lazenby, Graduate Student, Politics and International Relations, The Queen's College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Publication date: 2011-11-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more