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Egalitarian justice in unequal societies.

Hampson, D.S.; (2005) Egalitarian justice in unequal societies. Masters thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

My thesis addresses the problem of whether, and how, departures from a strictly egalitarian distribution of advantages can be justified on grounds of justice. I argue that there can be an egalitarian case for unequal distributions of primary goods, or resources, due to the burdens that the previously well off, and the talented, face in moving from an unequal society where they enjoyed great benefits to a more egalitarian society. I argue that these burdens, though transitional, should be taken to be relevant in deciding what the correct principles of justice for our society are. This thought forms the foundation of my 'dynamic' conception of justice, in which different principles of justice apply to different societies, depending on how egalitarian their distribution of advantages actually is. Our society, being very unequal, will have a particular set of principles of justice which correctly apply to it, and which will require substantial redistribution of primary goods to benefit the worst off. However, once these principles are correctly instituted, and our society becomes more egalitarian, a different set of principles of justice may then apply to our society: principles which allow less extensive departures from equality in primary goods than the previous set of principles of justice. This conception of justice is defended against Rawlsian criticisms, which argue that transition problems should not be accommodated by principles of justice, and also against recent arguments from G A Cohen on the distinction between principles of social regulation and principles of justice.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Egalitarian justice in unequal societies.
Identifier: PQ ETD:594280
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by Proquest
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446394
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