Equality of opportunity and differences in social circumstances

Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):368–388 (2004)
Abstract
It is often supposed that the point of equality of opportunity is to create a level playing-field. This is understood in different ways, however. A common proposal is what I call the neutralization view: that people's social circumstances should not differentially affect their life chances in any serious way. I raise problems with this view, before developing an alternative conception of equal opportunity which allows some variations in social circumstances to create differences in life prospects. The meritocratic conception which I defend is grounded in the idea of respect for persons, and provides a less demanding interpretation of fair access to qualifications; it nevertheless places constraints on the behaviour of parents, and has implications for educational provision in schools
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DOI 10.1111/j.0031-8094.2004.00358.x
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References found in this work BETA

Problems of the Self.Bernard A. O. Williams - 1973 - Cambridge University Press.
Equality and Equal Opportunity for Welfare.Richard J. Arneson - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 56 (1):77 - 93.
Two Kinds of Respect.Stephen L. Darwall - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):36-49.
Illiberal Libertarians: Why Libertarianism Is Not a Liberal View.Samuel Freeman - 2001 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 30 (2):105-151.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Value in Equal Opportunity: Reply to Kershnar.John O'Dea - 2007 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (2):177–187.
Luck, Opportunity and Disability.Cynthia A. Stark - 2013 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (3):383-402.
From Rawlsian Autonomy to Sufficient Opportunity in Education.Liam Shields - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (1):53-66.

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