Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/46793
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Type: Journal article
Title: Public goods and fairness
Author: Cullity, G.
Citation: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2008; 86(1):1-21
Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 0004-8402
1471-6828
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Garrett Cullity
Abstract: To what extent can we as a community legitimately require individuals to contribute to producing public goods? Most of us think that, at least sometimes, refusing to pay for a public good that you have enjoyed can involve a kind of ‘free riding’ that makes it wrong. But what is less clear is under exactly which circumstances this is wrong. To work out the answer to that, we need to know why it is wrong. I argue that when free riding is wrong, the reason is that it is unfair. That is not itself a very controversial claim. But spelling out why it is unfair allows us to see just which forms of free riding are wrong. Moreover, it supplies a basis from which some more controversial conclusions can be defended. Even if a public good is one that you have been given without asking for it or seeking it out, it can still be wrong not to be prepared to pay for it. It can be wrong not to be prepared to pay for public goods even when you do not receive them at all. And furthermore, it can be right to force you to do so.
Description: Copyright © 2008 Australasian Association of Philosophy
RMID: 0020080486
DOI: 10.1080/00048400701846491
Appears in Collections:Philosophy publications

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