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Equality and Legitimacy$
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Wojciech Sadurski

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545179.001.0001

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Social Equality (I): The Contours of Social Equality

Social Equality (I): The Contours of Social Equality

(p.147) 4 Social Equality (I): The Contours of Social Equality
Equality and Legitimacy

Wojciech Sadurski

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that a conventional distinction — that between an ‘individualized’ and a ‘collective’ concept of social equality — is misleading and unhelpful. This can be best shown by reflecting upon so-called ‘luck egalitarianism’ which affirms a brand of ‘individualized’ equality which is well aligned with those values which render ‘collective’ conceptions of equality so attractive. Taking as a point of departure Rawls's insight that people's distributive shares should not depend on factors which are morally arbitrary, the remainder of the chapter considers whether the idea of ‘natural and social lottery’ makes sense, and maintains — against critics — that natural and social contingencies should have equal status in a normative conception of equality. A realistic and pragmatic interpretation of the concept of the ‘common pool of natural assets’ is then provided.

Keywords:   justice, distributive justice, luck egalitarianism, lottery, communitarianism, liberalism, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin

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