Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
BottlenecksA New Theory of Equal Opportunity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joseph Fishkin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812141

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812141.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2021

Equal Opportunity and Its Problems

Equal Opportunity and Its Problems

(p.24) I Equal Opportunity and Its Problems

Joseph Fishkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the most attractive contemporary theories of equal opportunity, including those of John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and the luck egalitarians. It argues that these conceptions of equal opportunity suffer from a series of related flaws. They cannot be fulfilled as long as families exist. They depend on disentangling the effects of choice or effort from the effects of circumstance in a way that is conceptually impossible. They have difficulty accounting for the concatenation of opportunities—the way the outcomes of one contest set up the starting gate of the next. And finally, they may not promote the individuality and flourishing that were the best reasons to value equal opportunity in the first place. Thus, we need to reconceive equal opportunity in a fundamentally different way.

Keywords:   equal opportunity, luck egalitarianism, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, choice, luck, circumstance, starting gate, individuality

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .