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Levelling the Playing FieldThe Idea of Equal Opportunity and its Place in Egalitarian Thought$
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Andrew Mason

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264414

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264414.001.0001

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Mitigating Principles

Mitigating Principles

Chapter:
(p.134) CHAPTER 6 Mitigating Principles
Source:
Levelling the Playing Field
Author(s):

Andrew Mason (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264414.003.0007

In order to defend a version of the mitigation approach as opposed to the neutralization approach, a plausible set of principles that might constitute that approach must be identified. The strategy here is to work from the bottom up: to seek defensible principles to govern specific goods or specific aspects of people's circumstances, and then to see whether they can be grounded in more abstract principles. The chapter focuses on three areas: access to qualifications, the giving of gifts and bequests, and the effects of differences in natural talents and abilities. The principles that emerge should be thought of as working together to spell out what kind of impact differences in social circumstances and natural endowments may justly have upon access to advantage. These different principles have different characters: some are best understood as quasi-egalitarian, whilst others are grounded in a moderate version of the sufficiency view.

Keywords:   mitigation approach, neutralization approach, principles, qualifications, natural circumstances

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