Why Egalitarians Should Not Care About Equality

Shlomi Segall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Can outcome equality (say, in welfare) ever be unjust? Despite the extensive inquiry into the nature of luck egalitarianism in recent years, this question is curiously under-explored. Leading luck egalitarians pay little attention to the issue of unjust equalities, and when they do, they appear not to speak in one voice. To facilitate the inquiry into the potential injustice of equalities, the paper introduces two rival interpretations of egalitarianism: the responsibility view, which may condemn equalities as unjust (when they reflect unequal levels of personal responsibility); and, the non-responsibility view, which does not. It then teases out the implications of these two views, in the hope of establishing that the latter is at least as plausible as the former. The paper thus establishes that the egalitarian ideal can be plausibly formulated in a way that condemns only (certain) inequalities but never equalities, and that this formulation is both coherent and attractive.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)507-519
Number of pages13
JournalEthical Theory and Moral Practice
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Desert
  • Equality
  • Justice
  • Luck egalitarianism
  • Responsibility

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