Equality and the Significance of Coercion

Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (4):363-381 (2011)
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Some political philosophers believe that equality emerges as a moral concern where and because people coerce each other. I shall argue that they are wrong. The idea of coercion as a trigger of equality is neither as plausible nor as powerful as it may initially appear. Those who rely on the idea that coercion is among the conditions that give rise to equality as a moral demand face a threefold challenge. They will have to succeed in jointly (a) offering a convincing account of the wrongness of coercion, (b) rendering cogent the idea that the demand of equality arises in response to the moral problem of coercion, and (c) identifying some types of interaction as relevantly coercive. This challenge, I believe, cannot be met. More precisely, I argue that two important accounts of coercion fail to meet it.



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Gabriel Wollner
Universit├Ąt Bayreuth

Citations of this work

Systemic domination as ground of justice.Jugov Tamara - 2020 - European Journal of Political Theory 19 (1).
The Third Wave of Theorizing Global Justice. A Review Essay.Gabriel Wollner - 2013 - Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric 6:21-39.

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References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Problem of Global Justice.Thomas Nagel - 2005 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (2):113-147.
Distributive Justice, State Coercion, and Autonomy.Michael Blake - 2001 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 30 (3):257-296.

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