Should the best qualified be appointed?

Shlomi Segall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The paper examines the view that individuals have a claim to the jobs for which they are the best qualified. It seeks to show this view to be groundless, and to offer, instead, a luck egalitarian account of justice in hiring. That account consists of three components: monism, non-meritocracy, and non-discrimination. To demonstrate the coherence of this view, two particular internal conflicts are addressed. First, luck egalitarian monism (the view that jobs are not special) may end up violating the non-discrimination requirement. Second, non-discrimination, it is often suggested, cannot be defined without reference to qualifications, thus violating the non-meritocracy requirement. The paper seeks to address these, as well as other, potential objections, and show that whereas meritocratic accounts are without basis, luck egalitarianism provides a coherent and attractive account of justice in hiring.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)31-54
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Moral Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Discrimination
  • hiring
  • jobs
  • justice
  • luck-egalitarianism
  • meritocracy


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