Language and luck

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (4):357-381 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this article, we examine how language and linguistic membership might feature in luck egalitarianism, what a luck-egalitarian theory of linguistic justice would look like, and, finally, what the emphasis on language teaches us about the validity of standard luck-egalitarian assumptions. We show that belonging to one language group rather than another is a morally arbitrary feature and that where membership of a specific linguistic group affects individual chances, the effects of such bad brute luck ought to be neutralized on the luck-egalitarian view. We assess two ways of redressing those kinds of unjustified inequalities: the ‘universal language’ option and the ‘linguistic advantages for all’ option. But we also argue, in the second part, that exploring luck egalitarianism through the lens of language exposes some difficulties intrinsic in many existent luck-egalitarian theories. We argue that treating circumstances one identifies with as choices is problematic. In addition, we argue that the linguistic preconditions of both the capacity to be responsible as well the exercise of responsibility complicate the idea of individual responsibility on which most luck-egalitarian theories rely. We conclude by suggesting the need to develop a luck-egalitarian theory of justice which is less reliant on causal features of the distinction between choice and circumstance and which is more sensitive to the idea of collective cooperation as opposed to individual responsibility

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,100

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Egalitarian Justice and Expected Value.Carl Knight - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):1061-1073.
Equality and Information.Carl Knight & Roger Knight - 2012 - Ethical Perspectives 19 (3):469-499.
Luck Egalitarianism: Equality, Responsibility, and Justice.Carl Knight - 2009 - Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Luck Egalitarianism Interpretated and Defended.Richard J. Arneson - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1/2):1-20.
The Incompleteness of Luck Egalitarianism.Ryan Long - 2011 - Social Philosophy Today 27:87-96.
Choice and Luck in Recent Egalitarian Thought.Timothy Hinton - 2002 - Philosophical Papers 31 (2):145-167.
Distributive Luck.Carl Knight - 2012 - South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):541-559.
Hurley on Justice and Responsibility. [REVIEW]Peter Vallentyne - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):433 - 438.
Moral Luck Defended.Nathan Hanna - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):683-698.

Analytics

Added to PP
2011-11-16

Downloads
187 (#106,070)

6 months
8 (#365,731)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Lea Ypi
London School of Economics

Citations of this work

Two principles of equal language recognition.Helder De Schutter - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (1):75-87.
Political liberalism and the metaphysics of languages.Renan Silva - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.
On Who matters: extending the scope of luck egalitarianism to groups.Sara Amighetti & Siba Harb - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (3):301-317.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Liberalism, Community, and Culture.Will Kymlicka - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Equality and priority.Derek Parfit - 1997 - Ratio 10 (3):202–221.
Sovereign Virtue: The Theory and Practice of Equality.R. M. Dworkin - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):377-389.

View all 35 references / Add more references