Incentive Inequalities and Talents: A Reply to Shiffrin

Philosophia 41 (2):521-526 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In a recent article, Seana Valentine Shiffrin offers a distinctive egalitarian critique of the types of incentive inequalities that are permitted by John Rawls's difference principle. She argues that citizens of a well-ordered society, who publicly accept Rawls's two principles of justice and their justifications, may not demand incentives to employ their talents in productive ways since such demands are inconsistent with a major justification for the difference principle: the moral arbitrariness of talent. I argue that there is no such inconsistency. Citizens can publicly accept the claim that talent is morally arbitrary and accept incentives to employ their talents productively without inconsistency. In the standard case that Rawls envisions, citizens who do so take their preferences to be a reason for a higher salary, not their talents



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,980

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

Incentives, motives, and talents.Seana Valentine Shiffrin - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (2):111-142.
Reply to Critics.Seana Valentine Shiffrin - 2011 - Constitutional Commentary 27 (2):417-438.
Talent scouts, not practice scouts: Talents are real.David C. Rowe - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (3):421-422.
Are rawlsians entitled to monopoly rights?Speranta Dumitru - 2008 - In A. Gosseries, A. Marciano & A. Strowel (eds.), Intelectual Property and Theories of Justice. Palgrave-MacMilan.
Weakness Incorporated.Robert N. Johnson - 1998 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 15 (3):349 - 367.
What can we learn from highly developed special skills?Michael Rutter - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (3):422-423.


Added to PP

35 (#360,118)

6 months
2 (#332,693)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Douglas MacKay
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Citations of this work

Incentive inequalities and freedom of occupational choice.Douglas Mackay - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (1):21-49.

Add more citations

References found in this work

A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Justice as fairness: a restatement.John Rawls (ed.) - 2001 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Rescuing Justice and Equality.G. A. Cohen (ed.) - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
What is Egalitarianism?Samuel Scheffler - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (1):5-39.
Incentives, motives, and talents.Seana Valentine Shiffrin - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (2):111-142.

Add more references