Economics and Philosophy 27 (02):151-173 (2011)
|Abstract||A standard formulation of luck-egalitarianism says that unjust and unfair , where means substantive responsibility-generating fault or choice. This formulation is ambiguous: one ambiguity concerns the possible existence of a gap between what is true of each worse-off individual and what is true of the group of worse-off individuals, fault or choice-wise, the other concerns the notion of fault. I show that certain ways of resolving these ambiguities lead to counterintuitive results; and that the most plausible way of resolving them leads to a theory of distributive justice in which responsibility plays a role significantly different from that in standard luck-egalitarian thinking. My main conclusion here is that luck-egalitarianism is best formulated as the view that it is [in itself] bad for an individual to be worse off than others if, and only if, her being worse off does not fit the degree to which she is at fault in a not purely prudential sense|
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