|Abstract||Does justice require, at least in part, that people get what they deserve? The question is whether ideals of desert play a substantial and nonderivative role in establishing the content of social justice principles. Of course, even if the correct answer to this question were negative, once one has determined the requirements of justice independently of substantive considerations of desert, one could always add that the treatment of individuals that justice demands is to be identiﬁed with the treatment that they deserve. However, on this way of proceeding, ideals of desert do no real work and could be dropped from the account without any loss. This ﬁrst question resonates with a second one. Should egalitarian justice resist or accommodate the idea that desert considerations should be incorporated into the formulation of principles of justice at the ground ﬂoor level? Are desert and equality comrades marching together or sworn enemies or what? Egalitarian justice here shall be understood as principles that hold that if we are dealing with a ﬁxed population and choosing social arrangements that will not affect the aggregate total of well-being but may affect its distribution across persons, arrangements that would bring about an equal distribution of well-being, if that is obtainable, should be chosen.¹ The class of..|
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