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How to be a responsibility-sensitive egalitarian: From metaphysics to social practice

McTernan, E; (2015) How to be a responsibility-sensitive egalitarian: From metaphysics to social practice. Political Studies , 64 (3) pp. 748-764. 10.1111/1467-9248.12208. Green open access

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Abstract

There is something attractive about combining the values of equality and responsibility, even though the view most commonly associated with doing so, of luck egalitarianism, is beset with objections. This article hence proposes an alternative approach to being a responsibility-sensitive egalitarian: one grounded on our valuable social practices of responsibility, rather than on a desire to mitigate the influence of luck on people's prospects. First, I argue that this practice-based approach better captures the very reasons that responsibility is significant for justice than does the prevalent approach among luck egalitarians: namely, the values of fairness, choice and respect. Second, I show that the remaining motivation of the luck egalitarian approach, of being ‘anti-luck’, is impoverished. I conclude by suggesting that this practice-based approach is better motivated and more palatable than existing forms of luck egalitarianism, even for those relational egalitarians who standardly criticise making egalitarianism responsibility-sensitive.

Type: Article
Title: How to be a responsibility-sensitive egalitarian: From metaphysics to social practice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9248.12208
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9248.12208
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 The Author.
Keywords: Equality; responsibility; luck egalitarianism; relational egalitarianism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1460947
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