The inegalitarian ethos: Incentives, respect, and self-respect

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (1):93-111 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In Cohen’s vision of the just society, there would be no need for unequalizing incentives so as to benefit the least well-off; instead, people would be motivated by an egalitarian ethos to work hard and in the most socially productive jobs. As such, Cohen appears to offer a way to mitigate the trade-off of equality for efficiency that often characterizes theorizing about distributive justice. This article presents an egalitarian challenge to Cohen’s vision of the just society. I argue that a society where all internalized the egalitarian ethos would be one lacking equal respect among its members, in which certain groups lacked the grounds of self-respect. Section 1 defends equal respect and a form of equality of self-respect as values with broad-based appeal to egalitarians, and argues that a particular form of hierarchy would undermine both equal respect and the grounds of self-respect. Sections 2 and 3 reveal that just such a hierarchy would emerge in a society in which all had internalized the egalitarian ethos, in the case of both carers and the untalented. Thus, Cohen’s proposed society is shown to fail to unite equality and efficiency. Instead, Cohen’s society would be characterized by a lack of equality

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,726

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Shameless luck egalitarians.Adina Preda & Kristin Voigt - 2022 - Journal of Social Philosophy 54 (1):41-58.
Cohen vs. Rawls on justice and equality.J. Donald Moon - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (1):40-56.
Rescuing Justice from Indifference.Markus Furendal - 2018 - Social Theory and Practice 44 (4):485-505.
Fairness, Respect and the Egalitarian Ethos Revisited.Jonathan Wolff - 2010 - The Journal of Ethics 14 (3-4):335-350.
Incentives, Inequality and Self-Respect.Richard Penny - 2013 - Res Publica 19 (4):335-351.
What would a Rawlsian ethos of justice look like?Michael G. Titelbaum - 2008 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (3):289-322.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-06-15

Downloads
92 (#185,218)

6 months
12 (#311,829)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.

View all 39 references / Add more references