Toward a Political Theory of Philanthropy

Rob Reich

in Giving Well

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199739073
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199855872 | DOI:
Toward a Political Theory of Philanthropy

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This chapter examines whether, in a liberal democratic society, the charitable deduction can be justified. The chapter argues that the burden is on the state to show that the charitable deduction is both desirable and just. He explores a number of justifications and finds them inadequate for the task. The chapter argues that the most promising justification is the pluralism rationale, according to which the deduction can be justified on the basis of the role it plays in promoting individual engagement in civil society. However, according to the chapter, it is difficult to justify the deduction on those grounds, because in the end it favors the preferred charities of the rich.

Keywords: charitable tax deduction; individual engagement; liberal democratic society; pluralism

Chapter.  8487 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy

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