Luck Egalitarianism: A Modest Account

Kok-Chor Tan

in Justice, Institutions, and Luck

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199588855
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738586 | DOI:
Luck Egalitarianism: A Modest Account

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Part II of the book addresses the question why equality matters and defends luck egalitarianism against “democratic equality.” Chapter 4 begins by recalling the familiar core ideas of luck egalitarianism and affirms its initial plausibility. It goes on to clarify the basic contours of luck egalitarianism. Specifically, it argues that the conceptual space of luck egalitarianism should be limited to the special domain of distributive justice, that its site is the basic institutions of a social order, and its limited justificatory purpose is that of explaining why equality matters. I refer to this version of luck egalitarianism as “institutional luck egalitarianism.” The key idea is that it is not mere facts such as good and bad luck in themselves that generate a problem of justice, but how entrenched social arrangements and practices handle luck that raises considerations of justice.

Keywords: equality; distributive justice; luck egalitarianism; moral luck; humanitarian assistance; choice and circumstance; value pluralism; democratic equality; John Rawls; G. A. Cohen; Ronald Dworkin; Richard Arneson

Chapter.  12298 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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