Responsibility and choice

In this essay I agrue that contemporary Anglo-American liberal egalitarianism has at its heart a tension: the goal is to find principles of justice that are fair in respecting the distinction between choice and chance and that do not invoke controversial metaphysical arguments. This is a tension because distinguishing between choice and chance itself requires invoking controversial metaphysical arguments. I proceed by offering, and then examining, the thought that Scanlon's distinction between ?attributive? and ?substantive? responsibility offers a route out of the tension described above. The greater part of the essay is taken up with examining Scanlon's account of responsibility and the distinction between substantive and attributive responsibility. My conclusion is that Scanlon does not offer a compelling account of substantive compatibilism; that his theory does not, therefore, release the liberal egalitarian from the tension; but that this does not show that the direction indicated by Scanlon's theory is the wrong one
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DOI 10.1080/13698230410001702602
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