Substantive Equality

Carl Knight

in Luck Egalitarianism

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780748638697
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652815 | DOI:
Substantive Equality

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This chapter notes that, because every major theory of distributive justice can be construed as egalitarian in some senses (for instance, in giving each individual the same rights), people need more discriminating conditions for a theory or principle to qualify as substantively egalitarian. It sets out three such conditions. The theory or principle has genuinely to treat like cases alike, treat all fully and equally, and pursue equality in a dimension that is of value to egalitarians. While libertarian, utilitarian and priority for the worst-off views can meet one or two of these conditions, they cannot meet all three of them, as various forms of outcome egalitarianism (the view that individual levels of advantage should be made as equal as possible) can. Luck egalitarianism can tick the first two boxes, and there is a decent prima facie case for it ticking the third.

Keywords: outcome egalitarianism; luck egalitarianism; utilitarian view; distributive justice; equality

Chapter.  13504 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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