Doing the best one can: a new justification for the use of lotteries

  • Ittay Nissan-Rozen Hebrew University in Jerusalem
Keywords: moral uncertainty, lotteries, indivisible goods


In some cases in which rational and moral agents experience moral uncertainty, they are unable to assign exact degrees of moral value—in a non-arbitrary way—to some of the different acts available to them, and so are unable to choose with certainty the best act. This article presents a new justification for the use of lotteries in this kind of situation. It is argued that sometimes the only rational thing for a morally motivated agent to do here is to use a lottery.

Author Biography

Ittay Nissan-Rozen, Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Ittay Nissan-Rozen is post-doctoral fellow at the Edelstein centre for the history and philosophy of science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His main research interests are in the areas of philosophy of economics, philosophy of probability, Bayesian epistemology, and formal ethics.