The Coherence of Luck Egalitarianism

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (3):617-626 (2017)
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One of the foremost egalitarian theories in recent years, luck egalitarianism, has recently been subjected to the charge that it is in fact incoherent. This charge is brought by David Miller who highlights two dimensions of luck egalitarianism: on the one hand a commitment to the justice of certain inequalities arising from responsible choices; on the other a commitment to injustice of brute inequalities. The putative incoherence emerges in cases where the inequalities that justice requires on the basis of individuals' responsible choices also entail brute luck inequalities for which there are the very same grounds of justice to condemn. Here I argue that the charge of incoherence against luck egalitarianism fails. In service of this I clarify the quite specific sense in which luck egalitarianism requires inequalities and demonstrate the coherence of this with its condemnation of other inequalities.



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Gideon Elford
University of Oxford

Citations of this work

Equality of opportunity.Richard Arneson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Justice and bad luck.Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
What is equality? Part 2: Equality of resources.Ronald Dworkin - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (4):283 - 345.
What is equality? Part 1: Equality of welfare.Ronald Dworkin - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (3):185-246.
Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen - 2008 - Harvard University Press.

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