The Political Philosophy of Biological Endowments: Some Considerations

Is a government required or permitted to redistribute the gains and losses that differences in biol ogical endowments generate In particular, does the fact that individuals possess different biological endowments lead to unfair advantages within a market economy? These are questions on which so me people are apt to have strong intuitions and ready arguments. Egalitarians may say yes and argu e that as unearned, undeserved advantages and disadvantages, biological endowments are never fai r, and that the market simply exacerbates these inequities.1 Libertarians may say no, holding that th e possession of such endowments deprives no one of an entitlement and that any system but a mark et would deprive agents of the rights to their endowments.2 Biological endowments may well lead t o advantages or disadvantages on their view, but not to unfair ones
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DOI 10.1017/S0265052500001229
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