Varieties of Relational Egalitarianism

In David Sobel, Steven Wall & Peter Vallentyne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 110-136 (2018)
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This chapter explores the relational critique of distributive conceptions of justice, according to which the proper focus of egalitarian justice is the egalitarian nature of social relations rather than the equal distribution of certain goods. It maintains that the relational critique constitutes a fundamental challenge to distributive egalitarianism only if it rejects the “core distributive thesis” that holds that the distribution of some nonrelational goods has relation-independent significance for justice. It argues that several relational proposals are compatible with that thesis, and therefore constitute extensions or revisions of the distributive conception rather than alternatives to it, and that those relational views that reject the core distributive thesis are the least plausible ones. Finally, the chapter shows that relational views are often ambiguous regarding the nature of the significance of egalitarian relations, i.e. whether it consists in their contribution to well-being, or in being the fitting response to equal moral status.



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Zoltan Miklosi
Central European University

Citations of this work

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References found in this work

The Problem of Global Justice.Thomas Nagel - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2):113-147.
What is Egalitarianism?Samuel Scheffler - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (1):5-39.
Fairness, Respect, and the Egalitarian Ethos.Jonathan Wolff - 1998 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 27 (2):97-122.

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