Robert Huseby

Published On


Page Range

pp. 151–174


  • English

Print Length

24 pages

6. The Limits of Limitarianism

This chapter starts by examining Robeyns’ instrumental limitarianism and argues that this view is not limitarian as such, since the intrinsic values to be promoted are better served by other instrumental principles. Next, it is argued that it is difficult to envision a compelling version of intrinsic limitarianism. The reason is first that the possible versions of intrinsic limitarianism suggested (but not endorsed) by Robeyns really rest on other values, pushing limitarianism back into the instrumental realm. Second, a version of limitarianism based directly on the (supposed) badness of having too much, is unconvincing. Subsequently, instrumental views (other than Robeyns’) are revisited, but also found wanting. Lastly, the attempt to defend a more limited limitarianism, a ‘limitarian presumption,’ is assessed and rejected.


Robert Huseby

Professor in the Department of Political Science at University of Oslo

Robert Huseby is professor in the Department of Political Science, at the University of Oslo. He specializes in political theory, and is in particular interested in distributive justice, democratic theory, and climate ethics. His research has appeared in journals such as Utilitas, Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Journal of Social and Ethical Philosophy, Journal of Political Philosophy, Political Research Quarterly, and World Politics.