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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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Responsibility and Respect: Reconciling Two Egalitarian Visions 1

Responsibility and Respect: Reconciling Two Egalitarian Visions 1

(p.115) 5 Responsibility and Respect: Reconciling Two Egalitarian Visions1
Responsibility and Distributive Justice

Zofia Stemplowska (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Are those who suffer disadvantage due to their own choices entitled to assistance from others as a matter of egalitarian justice? Responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism and social egalitarianism are usually thought to offer conflicting answers to this question. This chapter argues that the extent of conflict has been exaggerated. It proposes that responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism should be disambiguated into three models — (simple) equality of opportunity, equality of opportunity for maximum advantage, and equality of opportunity for equal interests — that each take a different stance on egalitarian claim to assistance. It argues that the most widespread interpretation of responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism is unattractive and offers an alternative interpretation grounded in the equality of moral status. It explains why social egalitarianism itself should adopt this version of responsibility-sensitivity as a side constraint on its own egalitarian recommendations.

Keywords:   respect, responsibility, choice, distributive justice, egalitarianism, society of equals, equal moral status, social egalitarianism, luck egalitarianism, equality of opportunity

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