Danielle Zwarthoed

Published On


Page Range

pp. 91–128


  • English

Print Length

38 pages

4. Autonomy-Based Reasons for Limitarianism

  • Danielle Zwarthoed (author)
This paper aims to provide autonomy-based reasons in favour of limitarianism. Limitarianism affirms it is of primary moral importance that no one gets too much. The paper challenges the standard assumption that having more material resources always increases autonomy. It expounds five mechanisms through which having too much material wealth might undermine autonomy. If these hypotheses are true, a theory of justice guided by a concern for autonomy will support a limitarian distribution of wealth. Finally, the paper discusses two issues autonomy-based limitarianism would raise. First, insofar as coercion invades autonomy, do autonomy-based reasons legitimate coercive measures to secure a limitarian distribution of wealth? Second, is a limitarian ethos consistent with the incentive to produce enough wealth to secure distributive justice?


Danielle Zwarthoed


Danielle Zwarthoed is a historian and philosopher. At the time of publishing her article that is included in this volume, she was a lecturer at the Chair Hoover at the Université Catholique de Louvain. She is currently pursuing a second PhD-degree at the EHESS in Paris.