Equality, priority, and compassion

Ethics 113 (4):745-763 (2003)
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Abstract

In recent years there has been a good deal of discussion of equality’s place in the best account of distribution or distributive justice. One central question has been whether egalitarianism should give way to a principle requiring us to give priority to the worse off. In this article, I shall begin by arguing that the grounding of equality is indeed insecure and that the priority principle appears to have certain advantages over egalitarianism. But I shall then claim that the priority principle itself is ungrounded and that the priority principle should itself give way to a sufficiency principle based — indirectly, via the notion of an impartial spectator — on compassion for those who are badly off.

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Citations of this work

Luck Egalitarianism.Carl Knight - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):924-934.
The Prospects for Sufficientarianism.Liam Shields - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (1):101-117.
Sufficiency: Restated and defended.Robert Huseby - 2009 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (2):178-197.

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