Egalitarian principles should be distinguished from principles, which merely state relevantly complete grounds for the distribution of goods, and which thereafter enjoy a generality of application to those who meet the relevant conditions. Strict or paradigmatic egalitarian principles aim at an equal distribution of a certain good, on grounds generated by existing inequalities in the distribution of that good. Strict egalitarianism should be distinguished from rhetorical egalitarianism, in which equality is invoked simply as a way of drawing attention to the bad effects of inequality; effects that might have arisen in the absence of inequality. Strict egalitarian principles cannot be applied to diminishing principles of entitlement, which already have distributive commitments built into them. Strict egalitarian principles could be applied to non‐diminishing principles of entitlement, but these principles are of doubtful significance to political morality.
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