Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1373-1399 (2022)

Andreas T. Schmidt
University of Groningen
According to relational egalitarians, equality is not primarily about the distribution of some good but about people relating to one another as equals. However, compared with other theorists in political philosophy – including other egalitarians – relational egalitarians have said relatively little on what role personal responsibility should play in their theories. For example, is equality compatible with responsibility? Should economic distributions be responsibility-sensitive? This article fills this gap. I develop a relational egalitarian framework for personal responsibility and show that relational equality commits us to responsibility. I develop two sets of arguments. First, I draw on relational theories of moral responsibility – particularly Strawsonian views – to show that valuable egalitarian relationships require responsibility. Second, I show why relational equality sometimes requires that economic distributions be sensitive to responsibility and choice. I also defend a seemingly paradoxical result: being committed to responsibility, relational egalitarianism not only justifies some distributive inequalities but some relational inequalities too. Overall, relational egalitarianism gives a nuanced and coherent answer as to why and how responsibility matters from within egalitarianism. That it does should be an important argument in its favour.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-021-01711-3
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,130
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 We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Moral Dimensions: Permissibility, Meaning, Blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

View all 97 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Relational Egalitarianism.Rekha Nath - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (7):1-12.
Relational Equality and Health.Kristin Voigt & Gry Wester - 2015 - Social Philosophy and Policy 31 (2):204-229.
Insurance and Equality Revisited.L. Chad Horne - 2018 - Public Affairs Quarterly 32 (3):205-225.
Education, Sufficiency, and the Relational Egalitarian Ideal.Kirsty Macfarlane - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (4):759-774.
Taking Equality Seriously.Eva Maria Parisi - 2020 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Making Sense of Age-Group Justice: A Time for Relational Equality?Juliana Bidadanure - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 15 (3):234-260.
Relational Equality and the Expressive Dimension of State Action.Kristin Voigt - 2018 - Social Theory and Practice 44 (3):437-467.


Added to PP index

Total views
16 ( #665,648 of 2,506,503 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #81,192 of 2,506,503 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes