Why Egalitarians Should Not Care About Equality

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):507 - 519 (2012)

Can outcome equality (say, in welfare) ever be unjust? Despite the extensive inquiry into the nature of luck egalitarianism in recent years, this question is curiously under-explored. Leading luck egalitarians pay little attention to the issue of unjust equalities, and when they do, they appear not to speak in one voice. To facilitate the inquiry into the potential injustice of equalities, the paper introduces two rival interpretations of egalitarianism: the responsibility view, which may condemn equalities as unjust (when they reflect unequal levels of personal responsibility); and, the non-responsibility view, which does not. It then teases out the implications of these two views, in the hope of establishing that the latter is at least as plausible as the former. The paper thus establishes that the egalitarian ideal can be plausibly formulated in a way that condemns only (certain) inequalities but never equalities, and that this formulation is both coherent and attractive
Keywords Desert  Equality  Justice  Luck egalitarianism  Responsibility
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9306-7
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References found in this work BETA

Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
Health, Luck, and Justice.Shlomi Segall - 2009 - Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Luck Egalitarianism.Carl Knight - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):924-934.
Egalitarian Justice and Expected Value.Carl Knight - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):1061-1073.
Unjust Equalities.Andreas Albertsen & Sören Flinch Midtgaard - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):335-346.

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