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Unequally egalitarian? Defending the credentials of social egalitarianism

Axelsen, David V. and Bidadanure, Juliana (2018) Unequally egalitarian? Defending the credentials of social egalitarianism. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. ISSN 1369-8230

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13698230.2018.1443398


In his new book, Luck Egalitarianism, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen responds to challenges raised by social egalitarians against luck egalitarianism. Social egalitarianism is the view according to which a just society is one where people relate to each other as equals, while the basic premise of luck egalitarianism is that it is unfair if people are worse-off than others through no fault or choice of their own. Lippert-Rasmussen argues that the most important objections to luck egalitarianism made by social egalitarians can either be largely accommodated by luck egalitarians or lack the argumentative force that its proponents believe them to have. While Lippert-Rasmussen does offer a version of luck egalitarianism that seems to avoid some of the main lines of criticism, he mischaracterizes parts of both the form and the content of the disagreement, and thus ultimately misses the mark. In this paper, we provide a substantive, a methodological and a political defense of social egalitarianism by elaborating on this mischaracterization. More work must be done, we argue, if social egalitarianism is to be dismissed and its concerns genuinely incorporated in the luck egalitarian framework. Until this is done, the supposed theoretical superiority of luck egalitarianism remains contested.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Government
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2018 15:32
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2024 00:24

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