In Defense of Favoritism

My favorites are not the best or most accomplished at this or that. They are not virtuoso human beings. It’s my sheer affection for them, my ability to relate to them, and my history with them, that raise their status above other people. Love trumps fairness every time. It says: I don’t care if other people are more deserving than you, you’re mine and that’s why I give you more than anyone else. Ethical philosophies of every stripe—egalitarian, utilitarian, Rawlsian, cosmopolitan—have tried to level people with a grid of uniform impartiality, but our favorites cannot be encapsulated in the grid. They loom too large in our moral geography.

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