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. (shrink)
Setting out to defend luck egalitarianism in matters of justice in health, Shlomi Segall outlines a pluralistic version of the luck egalitarian framework allowing egalitarian justice to be traded-off against other moral requirements. The suggested pluralism enables luck egalitarian justice to coexist with a concern for meeting everyone’s basic needs thereby avoiding Elizabeth Anderson’s ‘abandonment objection’. In this article, however, we present three objections to Segall’s luck egalitarian justice in health. Firstly, the account is vulnerable to the common objection that (...) luck egalitarianism becomes too expansive, and that Segall’s defence against this is inadequate. Secondly, Segall’s pluralist attempt to balance luck egalitarian justice and other moral requirements ends up compromising its own ideal of justice. Due to the fact that resource scarcity is the reality of health and health care distribution, this problem would often arise in actual health policy. Finally, the account has a way of intensifying blameworthy behaviour which seems contrary to luck egalitarian principles. Based on these three objections, we conclude that Segall’s luck egalitarian account of justice in health must either be rejected or qualified further. (shrink)
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, shortages of scarce healthcare resources consistently presented significant moral and practical challenges. While the importance of vaccines as a key pharmaceutical intervention to stem pandemic scarcity was widely publicized, a sizable proportion of the population chose not to vaccinate. In response, some have defended the use of vaccination status as a criterion for the allocation of scarce medical resources. In this paper, we critically interpret this burgeoning literature, and describe a framework for thinking about vaccine-sensitive resource (...) allocation using the values of responsibility, reciprocity, and justice. Although our aim here is not to defend a single view of vaccine-sensitive resource allocation, we believe that attending critically with the diversity of arguments in favor (and against) vaccine-sensitivity reveals a number of questions that a vaccine-sensitive approach to allocation should answer in future pandemics. (shrink)
Geschwisterlichkeit wird in der Tradition des politischen Liberalismus häufig als moralischer Wert verstanden, der über das Ideal der Gerechtigkeit hinausgeht. Im Unterschied dazu argumentiert Jochen Bojanowski für ein neues Verständnis: Demnach sind wir im politischen Kontext zueinander geschwisterlich eingestellt, wenn wir einen gesellschaftlichen Kooperationsrahmen befürworten, in dem bloße Glücksunterschiede nicht in distributive Vorteile umgemünzt werden können. Ausgehend von dieser Idee entwickelt Bojanowski eine Theorie der Gerechtigkeit, der zufolge Geschwisterlichkeit einen konstitutiven Teil von Gerechtigkeit darstellt.
Feminists have always been concerned with how the clothes women wear can reinforce and reproduce gender hierarchy. However, they have strongly disagreed about what to do in response: some have suggested that the key to feminist liberation is to stop caring about how one dresses; others have replied that the solution is to give women increased choices. In this paper, we argue that neither of these dominant approaches is satisfactory and that, ultimately, they have led to an impasse that pervades (...) the contemporary feminist debate. The problem is that both sides of the debate understand women’s complicity in patriarchal subordination as a matter of what women wear and do. Instead, we propose a phenomenological analysis that understands complicity as based in our relations to our clothes. Starting from this phenomenological perspective, we sketch a new relational feminist ethics of dressing. This alternative ethical paradigm cannot yield a simple recipe for how to dress or tell us what garments are off-limits. But it can offer a way to make critical feminist judgements about clothes without veering into a stifling new prescriptivism. (shrink)
Distributive justice is one of the central questions of contemporary moral and political philosophy. Discussions on this topic are often presented as a confrontation between two groups of thinkers: libertarians and luck egalitarians. The former emphasize the dependence of the existing distribution on the individual choice and personal responsibility of people, and therefore are skeptical about various redistribution programs. The latter, on the contrary, emphasize the influence of morally arbitrary luck on the economic situation of people, and therefore welcome redistributive (...) measures to compensate for this brute luck. Left-libertarian claims to reconcile these two types of moral considerations. The classical left-libertarian point of view seeks to offset the influence of brute luck through an egalitarian distribution of the benefits of owning natural resources that are independent of anyone’s choice and responsibility. However, this position does not sufficiently take into account the influence of other factors of brute luck and, in particular, genetic endowments on the distribution of economic wealth. This article discusses three approaches that allow left-libertarians to take into account the factor of genetic luck in interpersonal distribution. First, it is Hillel Steiner’s proposal to attribute genetic information to natural resources, the benefits of which are subject to egalitarian redistribution. Second, it is the concept of equal opportunity for welfare by Peter Vallentyne, Michael Otsuka and Eric Roark. Thirdly, it is the universal dominance criterion of Philippe Van Parijs and Kasper Ossenblok. The first two approaches face a number of moral and practical difficulties, but the third approach is able to overcome them. Thus, the universal dominance criterion is the most promising way to reconcile left-libertarianism and justice in the distribution of genetic endowments. (shrink)
This short note is a recapturing of what Mike Davis stood for and how we all can pay homage to such a great figure who cannot be merely disciplined into any academic specializations. His wonderful marriage of theory and practice is a case in point emphasized throughout this note.
In 2016, the Five Stars Movement (5SM), one of the parties currently in power in Italy, launched the ‘Rousseau platform’. This is a platform meant to enhance direct democracy, transparency and the real participation of the people in the making of laws, policies and political proposals. Although ennobled with the name of Rousseau, the 5SM’s redemptive promise has been strongly criticised in the public sphere for being irresponsible and ideological. Political realism, I will argue, can perform both a diagnostic and (...) a corrective task, by providing some tools to unveil populist distortions and by offering more solid grounds for political opponents’ critique. Three aspects of realism, in particular, will be pointed out as remedies against populist drifts. First, anti-moralism, complemented by anti-utopianism and contextualism, criticises the populists’ moralistic picture of politics, its anti-pluralistic attitude and its rejection of the role of experts in politics. Second, the Weberian ethic of responsibility offers standards to assess politicians’ actions, instead of embracing the populist aversion towards any professional politician; besides, it contrasts the populist image of politics as a derogatory activity. Finally, realism as ideology critique unveils the distorting narratives underlying populist propaganda and fostering uncritical support. (shrink)
The work of prominent analytical Marxist G. A. Cohen provides a vision of socialism which has distributive justice and community at its core. While Cohen's view of distributive justice has been hugely influential, much less has been said about community. This article argues that community plays three distinct roles in Cohen's socialism. One is as an independent value, the second is as a necessary adjacent counterpart to justice, which serves both to restrict and facilitate distributive equality, and the third is (...) as a critique of the liberal contractualist view of humanity. We argue that each of these are distinct and valuable elements in Cohen's thought, each of which must be recognized to understand the range and implications of Cohen's socialism. (shrink)
When hospitals face surges of patients with COVID-19, fair allocation of scarce medical resources remains a challenge. Scarcity has at times encompassed not only hospital and intensive care unit beds—often reflecting staffing shortages—but also therapies and intensive treatments. Safe, highly effective COVID-19 vaccines have been free and widely available since mid-2021, yet many Americans remain unvaccinated by choice. Should their decision to forgo vaccination be considered when allocating scarce resources? Some have suggested it should, while others disagree. We offer a (...) framework for evaluating when it is ethical and briefly discuss its legality in American law. (shrink)
A considerable literature has emerged around the idea of using ‘personal responsibility’ as an allocation criterion in healthcare distribution, where a person's being suitably responsible for their health needs may justify additional conditions on receiving healthcare, and perhaps even limiting access entirely, sometimes known as ‘responsibilisation’. This discussion focuses most prominently, but not exclusively, on ‘luck egalitarianism’, the view that deviations from equality are justified only by suitably free choices. A superficially separate issue in distributive justice concerns the two–way relationship (...) between health and other social goods: deficits in health typically undermine one's abilities to secure advantage in other areas, which in turn often have further negative effects on health. This paper outlines the degree to which this latter relationship between health and other social goods exacerbates an existing problem for proponents of responsibilisation (the ‘harshness objection’) in ways that standard responses to this objection cannot address. Placing significant conditions on healthcare access because of a person's prior responsibility risks trapping them in, or worsening, negative cycles where poor health and associated lack of opportunity reinforce one another, making further poor yet ultimately responsible choices more likely. It ends by considering three possible solutions to this problem. (shrink)
According to luck egalitarianism, it is unjust if some are worse off than others through no fault or choice of their own. The most common criticism of luck egalitarianism is the ‘harshness objection’, which states that luck egalitarianism allows for too harsh consequences, as it fails to provide justification for why those responsible for their bad fate can be entitled to society's assistance. It has largely gone unnoticed that the harshness objection is open to a number of very different interpretations. (...) We present four different interpretations of the harshness objection in which the problem pertains to counterintuitive implications, badness of outcome, disproportionality, or inconsistency, respectively. We analyse and discuss appropriate luck egalitarian replies. Disentangling these different versions clarifies what is at the heart of this dispute and reveals the point of the harshness objection. We conclude that only the inconsistency version involves a durable problem for luck egalitarianism. (shrink)
Teaching at a private, conservative religious institution poses unique challenges for equality, diversity, and inclusivity education (EDI). Given the realities of the student population in the Honors College of a private, religious institution, it is necessary to first introduce students to the contemporary realities of inequality and oppression and thus the need for EDI. This chapter proposes a conceptual framework and pedagogical suggestions for teaching basic concepts of social justice in a team-taught, interdisciplinary social science course. The course integrates four (...) different approaches to justice: theoretical, social scientific, narratological, and experiential. The discussion of the experiential dimension of the course references practical pedagogical strategies for making social justice and inequality real for our students. Understanding the realities of social inequality and its roots can foster a better understanding of the social forces and structures that perpetuate inequality. Furthermore, this approach can plant the intellectual and empathic seeds to challenge in-group bias and hopefully germinate into fruitful interaction with diverse others. Finally, this rich, interdisciplinary encounter with social inequality and justice can prepare students to work for just social structures that will lead to a more inclusive world. (shrink)
This paper mounts a partial defense of the basic structure objection to the egalitarian criticism of productive incentives. The defense is based on the claim that some duties of justice are subject to a reciprocity condition. The paper develops this position via an examination of the debate between Andrew Williams and G. A. Cohen on publicity and incentives. Reciprocity is an intrinsic feature of a relational conception of social justice, not simply a requirement of stability. Not all duties are conditional (...) on reciprocity because some duties are owed to third parties, as well as to their primary targets. Some forms of exploitation may be unconditionally wrong, but not the specific kind of exploitation at stake when talented individuals accept market wages. (shrink)
Members of the field of philosophy have, just as other people, political convictions or, as psychologists call them, ideologies. How are different ideologies distributed and perceived in the field? Using the familiar distinction between the political left and right, we surveyed an international sample of 794 subjects in philosophy. We found that survey participants clearly leaned left (75%), while right-leaning individuals (14%) and moderates (11%) were underrepresented. Moreover, and strikingly, across the political spectrum, from very left-leaning individuals and moderates to (...) very right-leaning individuals, participants reported experiencing ideological hostility in the field, occasionally even from those from their own side of the political spectrum. Finally, while about half of the subjects believed that discrimination against left- or right-leaning individuals in the field is not justified, a significant minority displayed an explicit willingness to discriminate against colleagues with the opposite ideology. Our findings are both surprising and important, because a commitment to tolerance and equality is widespread in philosophy, and there is reason to think that ideological similarity, hostility, and discrimination undermine reliable belief formation in many areas of the discipline. (shrink)
Luck egalitarianism has been criticized for condoning some cases of oppression and condemning others for the wrong reason—namely, that the victims were not responsible for their oppression. Oppression is unjust, however, the criticism says, regardless of whether victims are responsible for it, simply because it is contrary to the equal moral standing of persons. I argue that four luck egalitarian responses to this critique are inadequate. Two address only the first part of the objection and do so in a way (...) that risks making luck egalitarianism inconsistent. A third severely dilutes the luck egalitarian doctrine. A fourth manages to denounce some instances of oppression for the right reason, but at the same time permits other instances of oppression and condemns yet others for the wrong reason. (shrink)
A widespread view in moral, legal, and political philosophy, as well as in public discourse, is that responsibility makes a difference to the fair allocation or distribution of things that are valuable or disvaluable independently of responsibility. For example, the fairness of punishing a person for wrongdoing varies with her responsibility for wrongdoing; the fairness of requiring a person to pay compensation varies with her responsibility for the harm that she caused; the fairness of one person being worse off than (...) another varies with her responsibility for being worse off; the fairness of inflicting defensive harm on a person to avert a threat varies with her responsibility for causing or posing the threat; and so on. (shrink)
:The distinction between brute luck and option luck is fundamental for luck egalitarianism. Many luck egalitarians write as if it could be used to specify which outcomes people should be held responsible for. In this paper, I argue that the distinction can’t be used this way. In fact, luck egalitarians tend to rely instead on rough intuitive judgements about individual responsibility. This makes their view vulnerable to what’s known as the neutrality objection. I show that attempts to avoid this objection (...) are unsuccessful. I conclude that until it provides a better account of attributing responsibility, luck egalitarianism remains incomplete. (shrink)
Many philosophers believe that luck egalitarianism captures “desert-like” intuitions about justice. Some even think that luck egalitariansm distributes goods in accordance with desert. In this paper, we argue that this is wrong. Desertism conflicts with luck egalitarianism in three important contexts, and, in these contexts, desertism renders the proper moral judgment. First, compared to desertism, luck egalitarianism is sometimes too stingy: it fails to justly compensate people for their socially valuable contributions—when those contributions arose from “option luck”. Second, luck egalitarianism (...) is sometimes too restrictive: it fails to justly compensate people who make a social contribution when that contribution arose from “brute luck”. Third, luck egalitarianism is too limited in scope: it cannot diagnose economic injustice arising independently of comparative levels of justice. The lesson of this paper is that luck egalitarians should consider supplementing their theory with desert considerations. Or, even better, consider desertism as a superior alternative to their theory. (shrink)
Some healthcare systems are said to be grounded in solidarity because healthcare is funded as a form of mutual support. This article argues that health care systems that are grounded in solidarity have the right to penalise some users who are responsible for their poor health. This derives from the fact that solidary systems involve both rights and obligations and, in some cases, those who avoidably incur health burdens violate obligations of solidarity. Penalties warranted include direct patient contribution to costs, (...) and lower priority treatment, but not typically full exclusion from the healthcare system. We also note two important restrictions on this argument. First, failures of solidary obligations can only be assumed under conditions that are conducive to sufficiently autonomous choice, which occur when patients are given ‘Golden Opportunities’ to improve their health. Second, because poor health does not occur in a social vacuum, an insistence on solidarity as part of healthcare is legitimate only if all members of society are held to similar standards of solidarity. We cannot insist upon, and penalise failures of, solidarity only for those who are unwell, and who cannot afford to evade the terms of public health. (shrink)
Prospective parents are sometimes partial towards their future children, engaging in what I call ‘pre-parental partiality’. Common sense morality is as permissive of pre-parental partiality as it is of ordinary parental partiality—partiality towards one’s existing children. But I argue that existing justifications for partiality typically establish weaker reasons in support of pre-parental partiality than in support of parental partiality. Thus, either these existing justifications do not fully account for our reasons of parental partiality, or our reasons to engage in pre-parental (...) partiality are indeed typically weaker than our reasons to engage in parental partiality. (shrink)
This book develops a novel approach to distributive justice by building a theory based on a concept of desert. As a work of applied political theory, it presents a simple but powerful theoretical argument and a detailed proposal to eliminate unmerited inequality, poverty, and economic immobility, speaking to the underlying moral principles of both progressives who already support egalitarian measures and also conservatives who have previously rejected egalitarianism on the grounds of individual freedom, personal responsibility, hard work, or economic efficiency. (...) By using an agnostic, flexible, data-driven approach to isolate luck and ultimately measure desert, this proposal makes equal opportunity initiatives both more accurate and effective as it adapts to a changing economy. It grants to each individual the freedom to genuinely choose their place in the distribution. It provides two policy variations that are perfectly economically efficient, and two others that are conditionally so. It straightforwardly aligns outcomes with widely shared, fundamental moral intuitions. Lastly, it demonstrates much of the above by modeling four policy variations using 40 years of survey data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. (shrink)
Cet article détaille et défend les arguments avancés dans l’ouvrageA Conceptual Investigation of Justiceen réponse aux critiques. Cette mise au point développe certaines des idées contenues dans le livre, mais elle présente également des perspectives inédites, étayant l’argumentaire de sa thèse principale.
Ce texte offre un aperçu des articles composant ce numéro spécial et présente brièvement les principaux arguments avancés dansA Conceptual Investigation of Justice, dont une des thèses centrales veut qu’un important désaccord à la fois sémantique et philosophique sur la définition du terme «justice» soit au cœur de plusieurs questions en philosophie politique contemporaine. Cette présentation nous amène par ailleurs à décrire les caractéristiques d’un débat sémantique dont la portée dépasse la stricte sphère linguistique.
미국과 세계는 지난 세기 동안 과도 한 인구 증가에서 붕괴의 과정에, 그리고 지금 그것의 모든, 3 세계 사람들 로 인해. 자원 의 소비와 30 억 더 ca. 2100의 추가는 산업 문명을 붕괴하고 엄청난 규모의 기아, 질병, 폭력과 전쟁을 초래할 것입니다. 지구는 매년 표토의 적어도 1 %를 잃고, 그래서 그것은 2100 에 가까워지면, 그것의 음식 성장 능력의 대부분은 사라질 것입니다. 수십억 달러가 죽을 것이고 핵전쟁은 확실합니다. 미국에서, 이것은 거 대 한 이민 및 이민자 재생산에 의해 크게 가속화 되 고, 민주주의에 의해 (...) 가능 하 게 학대와 함께. 타락한 인간의 본성은 민주주의와 다양성의 꿈을 범죄와 빈곤의 악몽으로 바꾸어 놓습니다. 중국은 이기심을 제한하는 독재를 유지하는 한 미국과 세계를 계속 압도할 것입니다. 붕괴의 근본 원인은 우리의 타고난 심리학이 현대 세계에 적응할 수 없다는 것입니다. 인권의 개념은 제3세계 모성에 의한 무자비한 파괴로부터 주의를 끌기 위해 좌파들이 추진하는 사악한 환상이다. 이것은 기본적인 생물학과 심리학에 대한 무지와 더불어 민주사회를 통제하는 부분적으로 교육받은 사람들의 사회 공학적 망상으로 이어집니다. 당신이 한 사람을 도와주면 다른 사람에게 해를 끼칠 수 있다는 것을 이해하는 사람은 거의 없습니다- 무료 점심식사가 없고, 사람이 소비하는 모든 물건은 수리를 넘어 지구를 파괴합니다. 따라서 모든 곳의 사회 정책은 지속 가능하지 않으며 이기심에 대한 엄격한 통제없이 모든 사회가 무정부 상태 또는 독재로 붕괴될 것입니다. 거의 언급되지 않은 가장 기본적인 사실은 미국이나 세계에 빈곤층의 상당 부분을 들어 올리고 거기에 보관할 자원이 충분하지 않다는 것입니다. 이 것을 시도하는 것은 미국을 파산시키고 세계를 파괴하는 것입니다. 우리의 유전적 품질과 마찬가지로 지구의 식량 생산 능력은 매일 감소합니다. 그리고 지금, 언제나처럼, 지금까지 가난한 자의 가장 큰 적은 다른 가난한 부자가 아닙니다. 극적이고 즉각적인 변화가 없다면 미국이나 민주주의 체제를 따르는 어떤 나라도 막을 희망이 없다. (shrink)
Amerika dan dunia sedang dalam proses runtuhnya dari pertumbuhan penduduk yang berlebihan, sebagian besar untuk abad terakhir, dan sekarang semua itu, karena orang dunia 3. Konsumsi sumber daya dan penambahan 3 miliar lebih CA. 2100 akan runtuh peradaban industri dan membawa kelaparan, penyakit, kekerasan dan perang pada skala yang mengejutkan. Bumi kehilangan setidaknya 1% dari humus setiap tahunnya, sehingga mendekati 2100, sebagian besar kapasitas tumbuh makanan akan hilang. Miliaran akan mati dan perang nuklir semua tapi pasti. Di Amerika, ini sedang (...) sangat dipercepat oleh imigrasi besar-besaran dan reproduksi imigran, dikombinasikan dengan pelecehan yang dimungkinkan oleh demokrasi. Sifat manusia yang rusak tak terelakkan mengubah impian demokrasi dan keragaman menjadi mimpi buruk dalam kejahatan dan kemiskinan. Cina akan terus membanjiri Amerika dan dunia, asalkan mempertahankan kediktatoran yang membatasi keegoisan. Akar penyebab runtuhnya adalah ketidakmampuan psikologi bawaan kita untuk beradaptasi dengan dunia modern, yang menyebabkan orang untuk memperlakukan orang yang tidak terkait seolah-olah mereka memiliki kepentingan bersama. Gagasan tentang hak asasi manusia adalah fantasi jahat yang dipromosikan oleh kaum kiri untuk menarik perhatian jauh dari kehancuran tanpa ampun dari bumi oleh ibu yang tidak terkendali dunia ke-3. Ini, ditambah ketidaktahuan dasar biologi dan psikologi, mengarah pada rekayasa sosial delusi dari sebagian berpendidikan yang mengendalikan masyarakat demokratis. Sedikit memahami bahwa jika Anda membantu satu orang yang Anda menyakiti orang lain-tidak ada makan siang gratis dan setiap item yang dikonsumsi orang menghancurkan bumi di luar perbaikan. Akibatnya, kebijakan sosial di mana-mana tidak berkelanjutan dan satu per satu semua masyarakat tanpa kontrol yang ketat pada keegoisan akan runtuh menjadi anarki atau kediktatoran. Fakta yang paling mendasar, hampir tidak pernah disebutkan, adalah bahwa tidak ada cukup sumber daya di Amerika atau dunia untuk mengangkat persentase yang signifikan dari miskin keluar dari kemiskinan dan menjaga mereka di sana. Upaya untuk melakukan hal ini adalah bangkrut Amerika dan menghancurkan dunia. Kapasitas bumi untuk menghasilkan makanan berkurang setiap hari, seperti halnya kualitas genetik kita. Dan sekarang, seperti biasa, sejauh ini musuh terbesar orang miskin adalah miskin lainnya dan bukan orang kaya. Tanpa perubahan dramatis dan segera, tidak ada harapan untuk mencegah runtuhnya Amerika, atau negara yang mengikuti sistem demokratis. (shrink)
My aim in this chapter is to place John Stuart Mill’s distinctive utilitarian political philosophy in the context of the debate about luck, responsibility, and equality. I hope it will reveal the extent to which his utilitarianism provides a helpful framework for synthesizing the competing claims of luck and relational egalitarianism. I attempt to show that when Mill’s distributive justice commitments are not decided by direct appeal to overall happiness, they are guided by three main public principles: an impartiality principle, (...) a sufficiency principle, and a merit principle. The question then becomes how luck and relational considerations figure into his articulation of these public principles. I argue that relational egalitarianism is more fundamental than considerations of luck and responsibility in Mill’s thought, but I also hope to show that any fleshed out picture of Mill’s reform proposals must recognize his condemnation of the role luck plays in determining the distribution of opportunities and outcomes. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against the commonly held view that paternalism is all things considered wrong when it interferes with a person’s autonomy. I begin by noting that the plausibility of this view rests on the assumption that there is a morally relevant difference in the normative reasons concerning an intervention in a person’s self-regarding actions and an intervention in his other-regarding actions. I demonstrate that this assumption cannot be grounded by wellbeing reasons, and that autonomy-based reasons of non-interference (...) also cannot adequately explain the difference. Following this, I propose that the difference in the reasons related to an intervention in a person’s self-regarding actions and an intervention in his other-regarding actions can be explained by the value of holding a person responsible for his choices. Nonetheless, this does not result in paternalistic behavior that interferes with autonomy being all things considered wrong. Instead, I show that the reason to hold a person responsible for a diminution of his wellbeing does not necessarily defeat the wellbeing reasons that count in favor of paternalistic behavior. (shrink)
Many assume that theories of distributive justice must obviously take people’s lifetimes, and only their lifetimes, as the relevant period across which we distribute. Although the question of the temporal subject has risen in prominence, it is still relatively underdeveloped, particularly in the sphere of health and healthcare. This paper defends a particular view, “momentary sufficientarianism,” as being an important element of healthcare justice. At the heart of the argument is a commitment to pluralism about justice, where theorizing about just (...) principles demands paying attention to the role particular goods play in our lives. This means that different approaches to the temporal subject—as well as other relevant issues—may be appropriate for different goods, including different goods within healthcare. In particular, the paper discusses two central goods targeted by healthcare: life-saving and pain relief. The view is offered as complementary to, rather than competitive with, lifetime approaches. As such, the paper finishes by considering how a pluralist approach, which engages both with people’s lives as a whole and with their states at particular moments, can reconcile the potentially competing claims in healthcare that emerge from these two perspectives. (shrink)
G. A. Cohen conceptualizes socialism as luck egalitarianism constrained by a community principle. The latter mitigates certain inequalities to achieve a shared common life. This article explores the plausibility of the community constraint on inequality in light of two related problems. First, if it is voluntary, it fails as a response to “the abandonment objection” to luck egalitarianism, as it would not guarantee imprudent people sufficient resources to avoid deprivation and to function as equal citizens in a democratic society. Contra (...) Cohenite socialism, this appears unjust. Second, if it is instead enforced, coercive equalization beyond sufficiency-constrained luck egalitarianism, which is possibly necessary to achieve a shared common life, seems to require unjustified restrictions on liberty. I therefore argue that the constraint is most plausibly specified as requiring enforcement of sufficiency and only voluntary equalization thereafter. I also note, skeptically, why this constraint might be morally preferable to a purely sufficientarian alternative. (shrink)
When is it fair that some people are less healthy than others due to their own individual choices and preferences? In this paper, I explore two alternative answers. The first is a luck-egalitarian account that holds people responsible for choices that society could have reasonably expected them to avoid. I argue that this account is indeterminate and go on to sketch an alternative proposal based on Rawls’s idea of a “social division of responsibility.” This latter approach connects the notion of (...) responsibility for health to the social conditions under which health-related behaviour is developed. (shrink)
This paper reviews the recent literature on exploitation. It distinguishes between three main species of exploitation theory: teleology-based accounts, respect-based accounts, and freedom-based accounts. It then addresses the implications of each.
The exposure of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to risks in the context of epidemics is significant. While traditional medical ethics offers the thought that these dangers may limit the extent to which a duty to care is applicable in such situations, it has less to say about what we might owe to medical professionals who are disadvantaged in these contexts. Luck egalitarianism, a responsibility-sensitive theory of distributive justice, appears to fare particularly badly in that regard. If we want (...) to maintain that medical professionals are responsible for their decisions to help, cure and care for the vulnerable, luck egalitarianism seems to imply that their claim of justice to medical attention in case of infection is weak or non-existent. The article demonstrates how a recent interpretation of luck egalitarianism offers a solution to this problem. Redefining luck egalitarianism as concerned with responsibility for creating disadvantages, rather than for incurring disadvantage as such, makes it possible to maintain that medical professionals are responsible for their choices and that those infected because of their choice to help fight epidemics have a full claim of justice to medical attention. (shrink)
Much of the recent discussion in progressive circles [e.g., Stiglitz; Galbraith; Piketty] has focused the obscene mal-distribution of wealth and income as if that was "the" problem in our economic system. And the proposed redistributive reforms have all stuck to that framing of the question. To put the question in historical perspective, one might note that there was a similar, if not more extreme, mal-distribution of wealth, income, and political power in the Antebellum system of slavery. Yet, it should be (...) obvious to modern eyes that redistributions in favor of the slaves, while leaving the institution of owning workers intact, would not address the root of the problem. The system of slavery was eventually abolished in favor of the system we have today which differs in two important respects: the workers are only rented, hired, or employed ; and the rental relationship between employer and employee is voluntary. Today, the root of the problem is the whole institution for the voluntary renting of human beings, the employment system itself, not the terms of the contract or the accumulated consequences in the form of the mal-distribution of income and wealth. (shrink)
Luck egalitarianism provides a reason to object to conditionality in health incentive programmes in some cases when conditionality undermines political values such as solidarity or inclusiveness. This is the case with incentive programmes that aim to restrict access to essential healthcare services. Such programmes undermine solidarity. Yet, most people's lives are objectively worse, in one respect, in non-solidary societies, because solidarity contributes both instrumentally and directly to individuals' well-being. Because solidarity is non-excludable, undermining it will deprive both the prudent and (...) the imprudent citizens of its goods. Thereby, undermining solidarity can make prudent citizens worse off than they would have otherwise been, out of no fault or choice of their own, but rather as a result of somebody else's imprudent choice. This goes against the spirit of luck egalitarianism. Therefore (luck egalitarian) justice can require us to save the imprudent and avoid conditionality in access to essential healthcare services. (shrink)
Systemic financial risk is one of the most significant collective action problems facing societies. The Great Recession brought attention to a tragedy of the commons in capital markets, in which market participants, from the first-time homebuyer to Wall Street financiers, acted in ways beneficial to themselves individually, but which together caused substantial collective harm. Two kinds of risk are at play in complex chains of transactions in financial markets: ordinary market risk and systemic risk. Two moral questions are relevant in (...) such cases. First, from the standpoint of interactional morality, does a person have a moral duty to avoid risk of harm to others if their financial transactions contribute in some way, however small, to the loss or harm? This article identifies the conditions in which persons are morally responsible in such cases. Second, from the standpoint of institutional morality, how should society distribute the risk of harm associated with massively complex financial markets? This question is considered in the context of the home mortgage credit market. Luck egalitarianism, in particular a Dworkinian insurance scheme to allocate risks and resources relating to mortgage credit and private home ownership, offers substantial promise. (shrink)
How does morality allocate responsibility for what it requires? I am concerned here with one fundamental part of this question, namely, how morality determines responsibility when multiple agents are capable of contributing to or completing a moral task, and special relationships capable of generating duties with respect to the task are non-existent, insufficient as a moral response, or partly indeterminate. On one view, responsibility falls to the agents who can bear it with the least burden. I show why this is (...) initially attractive and mistaken. Instead, I defend an equity-based approach that accommodates the intuitions that both support and trouble the least-cost principle. One upshot is that sometimes we ought prefer a distribution of responsibility that is more expensive and less local than needed to complete the task. I illustrate the practical significance of the argument in terms of the human rights of refugees. (shrink)
According to luck egalitarianism, it is not unfair when people are disadvantaged by choices they are responsible for. This implies that those who are disadvantaged by choices that prevent disadvantage to others are not eligible for compensation. This is counterintuitive. We argue that the problem such cases pose for luck egalitarianism reveals an important distinction between responsibility for creating disadvantage and responsibility for distributing disadvantage which has hitherto been overlooked. We develop and defend a version of luck egalitarianism which only (...) holds people responsible for creating disadvantage. This revision enables luck egalitarianism to offer compensation to those who are disadvantaged by preventing disadvantage to others, like dependent caretakers, without compromising the responsibility–sensitivity at the heart of luck egalitarianism. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the claim that luck egalitarianism is incompatible with Marxian theory because it allows for the possibility of a ‘clean path’ to capitalism. It explores the nature and structure of the clean path argument generally and critically discusses luck egalitarian versions of the argument. It contends that the Marxian theory of exploitation can meet the challenge of the clean path to capitalism argument, that luck egalitarianism and the Marxian theory of exploitation are not incompatible, and that luck (...) egalitarianism can explain why Marxian exploitation is unjust. (shrink)
The scarcity of livers available for transplants forces tough choices upon us. Lives for those not receiving a transplant are likely to be short. One large group of potential recipients needs a new liver because of alcohol consumption, while others suffer for reasons unrelated to their own behaviour. Should the former group receive lower priority when scarce livers are allocated? This discussion connects with one of the most pertinent issues in contemporary political philosophy; the role of personal responsibility in distributive (...) justice. One prominent theory of distributive justice, luck egalitarianism, assesses distributions as just if, and only if, people's relative positions reflect their exercises of responsibility. There is a principled luck egalitarian case for giving lower priority to those who are responsible for their need. Compared to the existing literature favouring such differentiation, luck egalitarianism provides a clearer rationale of fairness, acknowledges the need for individual assessments of responsibility, and requires initiatives both inside and outside of the allocation systems aimed at mitigating the influence from social circumstances. Furthermore, the concrete policies that luck egalitarians can recommend are neither too harsh on those who make imprudent choices nor excessively intrusive towards those whose exercises of responsibility are assessed. (shrink)