Two Conceptions of Inequality

Philosophical Papers 30 (2):169–199 (2001)

Abstract

Abstract Following Temkin's Inequality I take my point of departure in an individualistic approach according to which a situation is bad in respect of inequality to the extent individuals in it have egalitarian complaints. After having criticised some of Temkin's notions of inequality, I argue that there are two proper egalitarian conceptions, the Equal Share Conception and the Place Conception. The first concerns how much welfare an individual can claim to have in order to have what she should have in virtue of equality. The second concerns an individual's egalitarian complaint in so far as it depends on her place in a situation's distribution of welfare. I argue that the first conception can be employed in a defence of Telic Egalitarianism against Derek Parfit's Levelling Down Objection and that the second one can explain why this objection may seem so convincing. I also argue that Telic Egalitarianism, understood according to the first conception, in one respect is preferable to Parfit's Priority View

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Caj Strandberg
University of Oslo

References found in this work

Equality or Priority?Derek Parfit - 2002 - In Matthew Clayton & Andrew Williams (eds.), The Ideal of Equality. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 81-125.
Inequality.Larry S. Temkin - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Equality, Priority and Person-Affecting Value.Ingmar Persson - 2001 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (1):23-39.
Equality.Dennis McKerlie - 1996 - Ethics 106 (2):274-296.
Equality, Priority, and Time.Klemens Kappel - 1997 - Utilitas 9 (2):203-225.

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