chapter  1
16 Pages

Giving desert its due

WithThomas M. Scanlon

Joel Feinberg wrote, “In respect to modes of treatment which persons can be said to deserve, then, we can distinguish three kinds of conditions. There are those whose satisfaction confers eligibility (‘eligibility conditions’), those whose satisfaction confers entitlement (‘qualification conditions’), and those conditions not specified in any regulatory or procedural rules whose satisfaction confers worthiness or desert (‘desert bases’)” (Feinberg 1970, 58). Feinberg goes on to say that desert bases must be “some possessed characteristic or prior activity” of the person in question.