Ingrid Robeyns

Published On


Page Range

pp. 175–202


  • English

Print Length

28 pages

7. Why Limitarianism?

This chapter responds to Robert Huseby’s critique that instrumental limitarianism is not genuinely limitarian. I first introduce the distinction between problem-driven versus theory-driven philosophy, which is relevant for assessing my earlier work on limitarianism. I then provide a restatement and refinement of limitarianism based on recent developments in the literature. I then argue that limitarianism is distinct from egalitarianism, as well as from sufficientarianism. Limitarianism fits well as one part of a pluralist account of distributive justice. I conclude by arguing that limitarianism could play a distinct role both within political philosophy, as well as within society.


Ingrid Robeyns

Chair in Ethics of Institutions at Utrecht University

Ingrid Robeyns holds the chair in Ethics of Institutions at Utrecht University. She received her PhD dissertation from Cambridge University in 2003 and has since been publishing widely on questions of distributive justice, inequalities, applied ethics, and methodological considerations. She served as the first Director of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy, as the former director of Utrecht University’s Ethics Institute, and as the eighth president of the Human Development and Capability Association. She has co-edited two edited volumes and three special journal issues, and has previously published the book Wellbeing, Freedom and Social Justice (2017, with Open Book Publishers. She currently has a contract with Allen Lane (UK) and Astra House (USA) for a trade book on limitarianism (with translation rights sold to seven other publishers), which is scheduled to appear in the winter of 2023–2024.