As regular readers will know, CT blogger Ingrid has long been making the case for limitarianism, that is, the idea that there should be an upper limit on the amount any one person can own or consume. As Ingrid has observed, limitarianism is a constraint, rather than a complete ethical principle, so it’s important to consider how it interacts with other principles. In the case of utilitarianism, the answer is surprisingly well, at least in (using Ingrid’s terminology) this and nearby worlds. But understanding this requires a little bit of background and some arithmetic.

Shorter JQ: utilitarianism implies limitarianism. The full argument is over the field (no tricks this time, I promise).

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