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Living Together as EqualsThe Demands of Citizenship$
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Andrew Mason

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199606245

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606245.001.0001

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A Duty Not to Seek or Gain Unfair Advantages?

A Duty Not to Seek or Gain Unfair Advantages?

Chapter:
(p.133) 5 A Duty Not to Seek or Gain Unfair Advantages?
Source:
Living Together as Equals
Author(s):

Andrew Mason

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606245.003.0006

Citizens are under a duty to support and to further reasonably just laws and institutions. But even in a society whose basic institutions and laws were perfectly just, there would be scope for individuals to act unjustly, to seek an unfair share of benefits or advantages. This is not merely a practical problem with devising laws to deter such behaviour. It is a deeper problem because we often think it desirable to allow people the liberty to act unjustly. For example, we may think it is important to permit private education because it allows parents to choose schools for their children with a particular educational philosophy or distinctive curriculum, even though we know that some parents will choose these schools for their child to give them advantages in the competition for jobs and elite higher education, yet arguably such behaviour violates a duty not to seek or gain unfair advantage for oneself or others.

Keywords:   citizenship, unfair advantage, justice, private education, equality of opportunity

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