Equality of opportunity and opportunity dominance

Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):117-145 (2004)
Abstract
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)
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: 10,999
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
Serena Olsaretti (2009). Responsibility and the Consequences of Choice. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt2):165-188.
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

51 ( #31,401 of 1,101,086 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #22,959 of 1,101,086 )

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.