Philosophia 47 (4):1331-1339 (2019)

Authors
Dick Timmer
Utrecht University
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that limitarian policies are a good means to further political equality. Limitarianism, which is a view coined and defended by Robeyns, is a partial view in distributive justice which claims that under non-ideal circumstances it is morally impermissible to be rich. In a recent paper, Volacu and Dumitru level two arguments against Robeyns’ Democratic Argument for limitarianism. The Democratic Argument states that limitarianism is called for given the undermining influence current inequalities in income and wealth have for the value of democracy and political equality. Volacu and Dumitru’s Incentive Objection holds that limitarianism places an excessive and inefficient burden on the rich in ensuring political equality. The Efficacy Objection holds that even if limitarianism limits excessive wealth it still fails to ensure the preservation of political equality. In this paper, I will argue that both of these objections fail, but on separate grounds. I argue that the Incentive objection fails because one could appeal to limitarian policies that are different from the ones discussed by Volacu and Dumitru and which escape the problem of reduced productivity. I argue against the Efficacy Objection that limitarian policies are a partial but highly valuable step towards establishing political equality, and that they can and should complement or be complemented by other strategies.
Keywords Limitarianism  Political Philosophy  Political Equality  Taxation
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Reprint years 2019
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-018-0030-6
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References found in this work BETA

Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality.G. A. Cohen - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality.Eric Mack - 1995 - Philosophy 72 (281):478-482.
The Ethical Limitations of the Market.Elizabeth Anderson - 1990 - Economics and Philosophy 6 (2):179.

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Citations of this work BETA

Limits to Wealth in the History of Western Philosophy.Matthias Kramm & Ingrid Robeyns - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):954-969.

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