Brian Berkey
University of Pennsylvania
In recent years, a number of philosophers have argued that much theorizing about the value of equality, and about justice more generally, has focused unduly on distributive issues and neglected the importance of egalitarian social relationships. As a result, relational egalitarian views, according to which the value of egalitarian social relations provides the grounds of the commitment that we ought to have to equality, have gained prominence as alternatives to more fundamentally distributive accounts of the basis of egalitarianism, and of justice-based entitlements. In this paper, I will suggest that reflecting on the kind of explanation of a certain class of our justice-based entitlements that relational egalitarian considerations can offer raises doubts about the project, endorsed by at least some relational egalitarians, of attempting to ground all entitlements of justice in the value of egalitarian social relationships. I will use the entitlement to healthcare provision as my central example. The central claim that I will defend is that even if relational egalitarian accounts can avoid implausible implications regarding the extension of justice-based entitlements to health care, it is more difficult to see how they can avoid what seem to me to be implausible explanations of why individuals have the justice-based entitlements that they do. To the extent that I am correct that relational egalitarian views are committed to offering implausible explanations of the grounds of justice-based entitlements to healthcare, this seems to me to provide at least some support for a more fundamentally distributive approach to thinking about justice in healthcare provision.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,043
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What is the Point of Equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
What is Equality? Part 1: Equality of Welfare.Ronald Dworkin - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (3):185-246.
What is Egalitarianism?Samuel Scheffler - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (1):5-39.
Choice, Circumstance, and the Value of Equality.Samuel Scheffler - 2005 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (1):5-28.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Fairness to Non-Participants: A Case for a Practice-Independent Egalitarian Baseline.Merten Reglitz - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (4): 466-485.
Health Inequalities and Relational Egalitarianism.J. Paul Kelleher - 2016 - In Rebecca L. Walker Mara Buchbinder & Michele Rivkin-Fish (eds.), Understanding Health Inequalities and Justice: New Conversations across the Disciplines. University of North Carolina Press.
Counting the Costs of Equality.Kai Nielsen - 1986 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 27 (1):177-197.
Counting the Costs of Equality.Kai Nielsen - 1986 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 27 (1):177-197.
Insurance and Equality Revisited.L. Chad Horne - 2018 - Public Affairs Quarterly 32 (3):205-225.
Why Relational Egalitarians Should Care About Distributions.Christian Schemmel - 2011 - Social Theory and Practice 37 (3):365-390.
Relational Equality and Health.Kristin Voigt & Gry Wester - 2015 - Social Philosophy and Policy 31 (2):204-229.


Added to PP index

Total views
39 ( #288,737 of 2,498,570 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #171,114 of 2,498,570 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes