The Incompleteness of Luck Egalitarianism

Social Philosophy Today 27:87-96 (2011)
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Abstract

Luck egalitarianism makes a fundamental distinction between inequalities for which agents are responsible and inequalities stemming from luck. I give several reasons to find luck egalitarianism a compelling view of distributive justice. I then argue that it is an incomplete theory of equality. Luck egalitarianism lacks the normative resources to achieve its ends. It is unable to specify the prior conditions under which persons are situated equivalently such that their choices can bear this tremendous weight. This means that luck egalitarians need to become pluralists who understand equality not merely in terms of choice, luck, and responsibility. After developing my critical argument that luck egalitarianism is incomplete, I sketch a strategy for rehabilitating and filling out the theory.

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Ryan Long
Thomas Jefferson University

References found in this work

What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
What is equality? Part 2: Equality of resources.Ronald Dworkin - 1981 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 10 (4):283 - 345.
Luck Egalitarianism Interpretated and Defended.Richard J. Arneson - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1/2):1-20.

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