David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):117-145 (2004)
All conceptions of equal opportunity draw on some distinction between morally justified and unjustified inequalities. We discuss how this distinction varies across a range of philosophical positions. We find that these positions often advance equality of opportunity in tandem with distributive principles based on merit, desert, consequentialist criteria or individuals' responsibility for outcomes. The result of this amalgam of principles is a festering controversy that unnecessarily diminishes the widespread acceptability of opportunity concerns. We therefore propose to restore the conceptual separation of opportunity principles concerning unjustified inequalities from distributive principles concerning justifiable inequalities. On this view, equal opportunity implies that that morally irrelevant factors should engender no differences in individuals' attainment, while remaining silent on inequalities due to morally relevant factors. We examine this idea by introducing the principle of ‘opportunity dominance' and explore in a simple application to what extent this principle may help us arbitrate between opposing distributive principles. We also compare this principle to the selection rules developed by John Roemer and Dirk Van de Gaer.
|Keywords||Equality of opportunity Social choice|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Serena Olsaretti (2009). Responsibility and the Consequences of Choice. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt2):165-188.
Similar books and articles
Mathias Risse (2002). What Equality of Opportunity Could Not Be. Ethics 112 (4):720-747.
Oliver Feeney (2006). Equality of Whom? A Genetic Perspective on Equality (of Opportunity). Res Publica 12 (4):357-383.
John O'Dea (2007). The Value in Equal Opportunity: Reply to Kershnar. Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (2):177–187.
Matt Cavanagh (2003). Against Equality of Opportunity. Clarendon Press.
Richard J. Arneson (1999). Against Rawlsian Equality of Opportunity. Philosophical Studies 93 (1):77-112.
R. J. Arneson (1999). Equality of Opportunity for Welfare Defended and Recanted. Journal of Political Philosophy 7 (4):488–497.
Mark Navin (2008). Fair Equality of Opportunity in Global Justice. Social Philosophy Today 24:39-52.
Larry A. Alexander (1985). Fair Equality of Opportunity. Philosophy Research Archives 11:197-208.
Clare Chambers (2009). Each Outcome is Another Opportunity: Problems with the Moment of Equal Opportunity. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (4):374-400.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads42 ( #33,896 of 1,088,854 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,854 )
How can I increase my downloads?