A defense of egalitarianism

Philosophical Studies 131 (2):269 - 302 (2006)
Abstract
Recently in this journal, Michael Huemer has attempted to refute egalitarianism. His strategy consists in: first, distinguishing between three possible worlds (one with an equal distribution of well-being, one with an unequal distribution at every moment but with an equal distribution overall, and one with an unequal distribution at every moment as well as overall); second, showing that the first world is equal in value to the second world; third, dividing the second and third worlds into two temporal segments each, then showing that none of the temporal segments possesses greater moral value than any other, thereby demonstrating that the second and third worlds as a whole are equal in value; and finally, concluding that none of the three worlds has more value than any other. The present article rebuts Huemer’s critique of egalitarianism first, and most importantly, by showing that his core argument rests upon an equivocation, and second, by refuting his supplementary arguments.
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