Insult and Injury

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:
Insult and Injury

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This chapter begins by outlining a luck-egalitarian approach to public policy that is sensitive to various problems concerning information gathering, and considers a wide range of arguments for the non-egalitarian character of luck egalitarianism presented by such writers as Elizabeth Anderson, Marc Fleurbaey and Jonathan Wolff. The claims that luck egalitarianism insults persons, injures the irresponsible worse off or injures the non-negligent appear to be significantly overstated. The negligent needy might, in principle, be abandoned by luck egalitarianism, but this is unlikely in practice. A more pressing practical problem might be the mistreatment of dependent care-takers, but this can easily be rectified by small theoretical additions. Luck egalitarianism's prescriptions appear to be particularly attractive to the egalitarian when compared to those of ‘democratic equality’, the alternative theory put forward by Anderson.

Keywords: public policy; luck-egalitarian; information gathering; Elizabeth Anderson; Marc Fleurbaey; Jonathan Wolff; dependent care-takers; democratic equality

Chapter.  18417 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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