Luck and Institutions: A Defense of Institutional Luck Egalitarianism

Num°12 LUCK

In my book, Justice, Institutions and Luck, and in an earlier paper, A Defense of Luck Egalitarianism, I tried to defend a conception of luck egalitarianism that I dubbed “institutional luck egalitarianism”. Luck egalitarianism, as it is generally understood, is a theory of distributive equality which holds that justice requires an equal distribution by default, unless agential choice determines otherwise. This means that a just allocation must reflect the choices of people and not their bad or good luck. As G.A. Cohen once put it, luck egalitarianism holds that “there is injustice in distribution when the inequality of goods reflects not such things as differences in the arduousness of different people’s labors, or people’s different preferences and choices with respect to income and leisure, but myriad forms of lucky and unlucky circumstance.” Put another way, distributive justice, on the luck egalitarian view, should be choice-sensitive but luck-insensitive.

Luck egalitarianism is thus a general position that reflects this basic idea about choice, luck and distribution, and different theories of luck egalitarianism will specify the cut between choice and luck differently, will specify the currency of distributive justice (that is, the thing that is to be distributed equally) differently, and will differ on the subject to which a principle of distribution should apply (for example, should it apply to personal conduct and choices across the board or should it be limited to the institutions of society). Nonetheless, in spite of these internal differences, all luck egalitarian theories hold that an unequal distribution must be due to choice of persons and not their bad or good luck.

Luck and Institutions: A Defense of Institutional Luck Egalitarianism

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Numero 12 LUCK ottobre, 2014 - Autore:  Condividi


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