Whatever of what?

Abstract
In 1980, Amartya Sen’s essay ‘Equality of What?’ stimulated a still ongoing discussion on the question: ‘Insofar as one holds that social justice demands rendering people’s condition more nearly equal, what aspects of people’s condition should be equalized?’ (Sen, 1982). In what respects should people be rendered more nearly the same? Prominent responses include resources, fundamental liberties, capabilities, advantages, welfare, and opportunities for welfare.1 There is a more general question in this neighbourhood that should be of interest. We might conceive of social justice as requiring us to maximize some function of some aspect of people’s condition. The relevant aspect might be any of the candidates just listed or some hitherto unnoticed alternative. But it is not obvious in advance of argument that social justice requires equality of any sort. Perhaps the function we should be maximizing requires us to equalize, but it might be ‘maximize the average!’, ‘maximize the aggregate!’, ‘maximin!’, ‘equalize at the highest feasible level!’, ‘maximax!’, ‘prioritize!’, ‘maximize the number above sufficiency!’, or yet another alternative. The more general question about the nature of social justice requirements is ‘Whatever of what?’ There are two issues to resolve, not just one.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,404
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

45 ( #37,942 of 1,102,977 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #84,832 of 1,102,977 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.