Relational Egalitarianism and Emergent Social Inequalities

Res Publica 28 (1):49-67 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper identifies a challenge for liberal relational egalitarians—namely, how to respond to the prospect of emergent inequalities of power, status, and influence arising unintentionally through the free exercise of fundamental individual liberties over time. I argue that these emergent social inequalities can be produced through patterns of nonmalicious choices, that they can in fact impede the full realization of relational equality, and that it is possible they cannot be eliminated entirely without abandoning fundamental liberal commitments to leave individuals substantial discretion in their personal lives. In such cases, I argue that liberal egalitarians should accept fair relational equality—a demanding but nevertheless imperfect form of relational equality.

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Dan Threet
Georgetown University (PhD)

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.

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