Luck Egalitarianism and Relational Egalitarianism: An Internal Tension in Cohen’s Theory of Justice

Analyse & Kritik 42 (1):219-240 (2020)
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Abstract

Relational Egalitarianism focuses on the construction of equal social relationships between persons. It strongly opposes luck egalitarianism, which understands equality as a distributive ideal. In Cohen’s theory of justice, luck egalitarianism and relational egalitarianism simultaneously exist, and Cohen provides arguments corresponding to each. In this paper, we explore the manifestation of tension between these two forms of egalitarianism in his theory. In addition, we also reconstruct some possible solutions provided by Cohen to soften this tension, including the three approaches of market mechanism, egalitarian ethos and value pluralism, and find them to be unsuccessful. This tension is a serious challenge that needs to be addressed in Cohen’s theory of justice.

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Jiangjin Chen
Wuhan University

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References found in this work

What is Egalitarianism?Samuel Scheffler - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (1):5-39.
Varieties of Relational Egalitarianism.Zoltan Miklosi - 2018 - In David Sobel, Steven Wall & Peter Vallentyne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 110-136.

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