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The ideal of social equality: Critique of economic egalitarianism

Navkarov, V; (2008) The ideal of social equality: Critique of economic egalitarianism. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the implication of equality in debates about distributive justice. It is argued that equality articulates a particular mode of social relationship, namely that relationship which retains the equal moral worth of each member of a political community. One way to achieve this end is to arrange rules and procedure governing the distribution of goods and social relations in a way that ensures respect to each member of society. This particular mode of social relationship can be achieved without necessarily invoking strict equality in respect to the distribution of material goods. With respect to question of distributive justice, commitment to the ideal of social equality does not settle all distributive issues. Despite this, however, an appeal to social equality can help to clarify the tension between 'economic egalitarianism' and its critiques. An appeal to social equality demands the sufficiency approach to the distribution of material goods, and proposes unconditional basic income for all as a way to achieve it. This claim is supported by two additional arguments. First, complete achievement of equality of opportunity is undesirable because it undermines the 'legitimate differences' between persons. Second, it is argued that unconditional basic income for all provides citizens with a reasonable alternative to Rawls' 'fair division of responsibility'. This reasonable alternative, in turn, is necessary both to incur and to validate personal responsibility.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The ideal of social equality: Critique of economic egalitarianism
Identifier: PQ ETD:593630
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446290
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