Chapter

Equality and Motivation

Thomas Nagel

in Equality and Partiality

Published in print August 1995 | ISBN: 9780195098396
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199870059 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195098390.003.0010
Equality and Motivation

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While institutions must play an important role in creating social and economic equality, they cannot sustain it unless they come to express what enough people feel. Nagel explores what transformations of motive might make possible the realization of a more egalitarian social ideal. There is no natural way to divide the creation of advantages by talent into the legitimate and the illegitimate, along lines that could correspond to a psychologically plausible division between personal and impersonal motivation. All that can be done is to reduce the magnitude of the inequalities in life chances within which the effort will determine the result.

Keywords: equality; fairness; impartiality; motivation; partiality

Chapter.  8670 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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