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Responsibility and Distributive Justice$
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Carl Knight and Zofia Stemplowska

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565801.001.0001

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Luck Egalitarianism—A Primer 1

Luck Egalitarianism—A Primer 1

(p.24) 1 Luck Egalitarianism—A Primer1
Responsibility and Distributive Justice

Richard J. Arneson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Luck egalitarianism combines two broad ideas, egalitarianism and ‘luckism’. This chapter canvasses varieties of these two ideas with a view to identifying the most promising among them and assessing their various strengths and weaknesses. Consequentialist and deontological versions of the doctrine are identified and evaluated. Some versions of the doctrine purport to be components of a comprehensive morality, not the whole of it, whereas at least one proposal purports to be a complete and fundamental morality. All versions of the doctrine aim to integrate a sensible view of personal responsibility into the theory of social justice. In the literature, luck egalitarianism is associated with approaches to social justice that hold that people are owed opportunities or capabilities not any particular quality of life outcomes. The chapter defends a resolutely outcome-focused version of the doctrine. It also defends asocial theories of distributive justice from social interactionist objections.

Keywords:   luck egalitarianism, responsibility, desert, choice, social justice, distributive justice, consequentialism, deontology, asocial

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