How does the difference principle make a difference?

Res Publica 16 (3):263-280 (2010)
Abstract
The paper examines the relationship between the two parts of Rawls’ second principle of justice. More specifically, it explores the ways in which the Difference Principle (DP) may constrain the range of acceptable social arrangements in light of the stated lexical priority of the requirement of fair equality of opportunity (FEO) over the DP. The paper discusses two possibilities. First, it examines the role the DP may play within an institutional scheme that satisfies the requirement of FEO. Second, it discusses the role the principle may play in selecting among different institutional schemes that satisfy FEO. The paper argues that the DP has an important role only if there is a range of institutional arrangements that are equivalent from the point of view of FEO but non-equivalent from the point of view of the DP. Next, it explores the possible sources of the variation among the different FEO-equivalent institutional schemes, and argues that on the most satisfactory reading of the requirement of FEO, there will not be much variation that is relevant from the point of view of the DP. The paper concludes that the role of the Difference Principle is at best very limited in constraining the range of social arrangements that are acceptable from the point of view of justice
Keywords Rawls  difference principle  fair equality of opportunity  lexical priority
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: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Larry A. Alexander (1985). Fair Equality of Opportunity. Philosophy Research Archives 11:197-208.
    Frances M. Kamm (2001). Health and Equality of Opportunity. American Journal of Bioethics 1 (2):17 – 19.

    View all 9 references

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-07-26

    Total downloads

    26 ( #56,514 of 1,088,403 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    3 ( #30,936 of 1,088,403 )

    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.