The Intrinsic Value of Economic Equality
This chapter focuses on the value of economic equality. Harry Frankfurt and Joseph Raz, among others, have argued that economic equality is not intrinsically valuable. Their argument rests on the claim that what we should care about is the satisfaction of people's needs, not their relative position vis-à-vis others. If people have enough of what they need, it does not matter whether they have more or less than others. It is argued that economic equality is intrinsically valuable precisely because we should care about people's needs, mostly because sufficiency is profoundly relative to the possessions of others. The chapter begins by purporting to establish this basic relativity of needs; the second part explains why this is an argument for the intrinsic value of equality. Finally, it concludes with remarks on what principle of equality is justified by this argument, drawing on a distinction between two types of moral ideals.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.