We investigate the issue of aggregativity in fair division problems from the perspective of cooperative game theory and Broomean theories of fairness. Paseau and Saunders (Utilitas 27:460–469, 2015) proved that no non-trivial theory of fairness can be aggregative and conclude that theories of fairness are therefore problematic, or at least incomplete. We observe that there are theories of fairness, particularly those that are based on cooperative game theory, that do not face the problem of non-aggregativity. We use this observation to argue that the universal claim that no non-trivial theory of fairness can guarantee aggregativity is false. Paseau and Saunders’s mistaken assertion can be understood as arising from a neglect of the (cooperative) games approach to fair division. Our treatment has two further pay-offs: for one, we give an accessible introduction to the (cooperative) games approach to fair division, whose significance has hitherto not been appreciated by philosophers working on fairness. For another, our discussion explores the issue of aggregativity in fair division problems in a comprehensive fashion.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Aggregation, Claims problems, Cooperative game theory, Fair division, Fairness, John Broome
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10670-018-0045-1, hdl.handle.net/1765/109628
Journal Erkenntnis: an international journal of analytic philosophy
Citation
Wintein, S, & Heilmann, C. (2018). Theories of Fairness and Aggregation. Erkenntnis: an international journal of analytic philosophy. doi:10.1007/s10670-018-0045-1