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Giving WellThe Ethics of Philanthropy$
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Patricia Illingworth, Thomas Pogge, and Leif Wenar

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739073.001.0001

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Toward a Political Theory of Philanthropy

Toward a Political Theory of Philanthropy

Chapter:
(p.177) 9 Toward a Political Theory of Philanthropy
Source:
Giving Well
Author(s):

Rob Reich (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739073.003.0010

This chapter examines whether, in a liberal democratic society, the charitable deduction can be justified. The chapter argues that the burden is on the state to show that the charitable deduction is both desirable and just. He explores a number of justifications and finds them inadequate for the task. The chapter argues that the most promising justification is the pluralism rationale, according to which the deduction can be justified on the basis of the role it plays in promoting individual engagement in civil society. However, according to the chapter, it is difficult to justify the deduction on those grounds, because in the end it favors the preferred charities of the rich.

Keywords:   charitable tax deduction, individual engagement, liberal democratic society, pluralism

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