•  2667
    Luck Egalitarianism
    Philosophy Compass 8 (10): 924-934. 2013.
    Luck egalitarianism is a family of egalitarian theories of distributive justice that aim to counteract the distributive effects of luck. This article explains luck egalitarianism's main ideas, and the debates that have accompanied its rise to prominence. There are two main parts to the discussion. The first part sets out three key moves in the influential early statements of Dworkin, Arneson, and Cohen: the brute luck/option luck distinction, the specification of brute luck in everyday or theore…Read more
  •  1611
    Climate change and the duties of the disadvantaged: reply to Caney
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4): 531-542. 2011.
    Discussions of where the costs of climate change adaptation and mitigation should fall often focus on the 'polluter pays principle' or the 'ability to pay principle'. Simon Caney has recently defended a 'hybrid view', which includes versions of both of these principles. This article argues that Caney's view succeeds in overcoming several shortfalls of both principles, but is nevertheless subject to three important objections: first, it does not distinguish between those emissions which are hard …Read more
  •  1457
    This article argues for an unconventional interpretation of Arthur O. Lovejoy’s distinctive approach to method in the history of ideas. It is maintained that the value of the central concept of the ‘unit-idea’ has been misunderstood by friends and foes alike. The commonality of unit-ideas at different times and places is often defined in terms of familial resemblance. But such an approach must necessarily define unit-ideas as being something other than the smallest conceptual unit. It is therefo…Read more
  •  1195
    South Africa is a highly distributively unequal country, and its inequality continues to be largely along racial lines. Such circumstances call for assessment from the perspective of contemporary theories of distributive justice. Three such theories—Rawlsian justice, utilitarianism, and luck egalitarianism—are described and applied. Rawls' difference principle recommends that the worst off be made as well as they can be, a standard which South Africa clearly falls short of. Utilitarianism recomm…Read more
  •  921
    In Defence of Cosmopolitanism
    Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 58 (129): 19-34. 2011.
    David Miller has objected to the cosmopolitan argument that it is arbitrary and hence unfair to treat individuals differently on account of things for which they are not responsible. Such a view seems to require, implausibly, that individuals be treated identically even where (unchosen) needs differ. The objection is, however, inapplicable where the focus of cosmopolitan concern is arbitrary disadvantage rather than arbitrary treatment. This 'unfair disadvantage argument' supports a form of glob…Read more
  •  599
    The Injustice of Discrimination
    South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (1): 47-59. 2013.
    Discrimination might be considered unjust on account of the comparative disadvantage it imposes, the absolute disadvantage it imposes, the disrespect it shows, or the prejudice it shows. This article argues that each of these accounts overlooks some cases of unjust discrimination. In response to this state of affairs we might combine two or more of these accounts. A promising approach combines the comparative disadvantage and absolute disadvantage accounts.
  •  510
    Benefiting from Injustice and Brute Luck
    Social Theory and Practice 39 (4): 581-598. 2013.
    Many political philosophers maintain that beneficiaries of injustice are under special obligations to assist victims of injustice. However, the examples favoured by those who endorse this view equally support an alternative luck egalitarian view, which holds that special obligations should be assigned to those with good brute luck. From this perspective the distinguishing features of the benefiting view are (1) its silence on the question of whether to allocate special obligations to assist the …Read more
  •  412
    Justice and the Grey Box of Responsibility
    Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 57 (124): 86-112. 2010.
    Even where an act appears to be responsible, and satisfies all the conditions for responsibility laid down by society, the response to it may be unjust where that appearance is false, and where those conditions are insufficient. This paper argues that those who want to place considerations of responsibility at the centre of distributive and criminal justice ought to take this concern seriously. The common strategy of relying on what Susan Hurley describes as a 'black box of responsibility' has t…Read more
  •  407
    Describing equality
    Law and Philosophy 28 (4). 2009.
    This articles proposes that theories and principles of distributive justice be considered substantively egalitarian iff they satisfy each of three conditions: (1) they consider the bare fact that a person is in certain circumstances to be a conclusive reason for placing another relevantly identically entitled person in the same circumstances, except where this conflicts with other similarly conclusive reasons arising from the circumstances of other persons; (2) they can be stated as 'equality of…Read more
  •  385
    Distributive Luck
    South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (2): 541-559. 2012.
    This article explores the Rawlsian goal of ensuring that distributions are not influenced by the morally arbitrary. It does so by bringing discussions of distributive justice into contact with the debate over moral luck initiated by Williams and Nagel. Rawls’ own justice as fairness appears to be incompatible with the arbitrariness commitment, as it creates some equalities arbitrarily. A major rival, Dworkin’s version of brute luck egalitarianism, aims to be continuous with ordinary ethics, …Read more
  •  381
    Egalitarian Justice and Valuational Judgment
    Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (4): 482-498. 2009.
    Contemporary discussions of egalitarian justice have often focused on the issue of expensive taste. G.A. Cohen has recently abandoned the view that all chosen disadvantages are non-compensable, now maintaining that chosen expensive judgmental tastes—those endorsed by valuational judgment—are compensable as it is unreasonable to expect persons not to develop them. But chosen expensive brute taste—the main type of non-compensable expensive taste on the new scheme—cannot be described in such a way …Read more
  •  373
    Moderate Emissions Grandfathering
    Environmental Values 23 (5): 571-592. 2014.
    Emissions grandfathering holds that a history of emissions strengthens an agent’s claim for future emission entitlements. Though grandfathering appears to have been influential in actual emission control frameworks, it is rarely taken seriously by philosophers. This article presents an argument for thinking this an oversight. The core of the argument is that members of countries with higher historical emissions are typically burdened with higher costs when transitioning to a given lower level of…Read more
  •  343
    Egalitarian Justice and Expected Value
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5): 1061-1073. 2013.
    According to all-luck egalitarianism, the differential distributive effects of both brute luck, which defines the outcome of risks which are not deliberately taken, and option luck, which defines the outcome of deliberate gambles, are unjust. Exactly how to correct the effects of option luck is, however, a complex issue. This article argues that (a) option luck should be neutralized not just by correcting luck among gamblers, but among the community as a whole, because it would be unfair for gam…Read more
  •  316
    A Pluralistic Approach to Global Poverty
    Review of International Studies 34 (4): 713-33. 2008.
    A large proportion of humankind today lives in avoidable poverty. This article examines whether affluent individuals and governments have moral duties to change this situation. It is maintained that an alternative to the familiar accounts of transdomestic distributive justice and personal ethics put forward by writers such as Peter Singer, John Rawls, and Thomas Pogge is required, since each of these accounts fails to reflect the full range of relevant considerations. A better account would give…Read more
  •  271
    This review article of Shlomi Segall's Health, Luck, and Justice (Princeton University Press, 2010) addresses three issues: first, Segall’s claim that luck egalitarianism, properly construed, does not object to brute luck equality; second, Segall’s claim that brute luck is properly construed as the outcome of actions that it would have been unreasonable to expect the agent to avoid; and third, Segall’s account of healthcare and criticism of rival views. On the first two issues, a more convention…Read more
  •  269
    Equality and Information
    with Roger Knight
    Ethical Perspectives 19 (3): 469-499. 2012.
    Traditional outcome-orientated egalitarian principles require access to information about the size of individual holdings. Recent egalitarian political theory has sought to accommodate considerations of responsibility. Such a move may seem problematic, in that a new informational burden is thereby introduced, with no apparent decrease in the existing burden. This article uses a simple model with simulated data to examine the extent to which outcome egalitarianism and responsibility-sensitive ega…Read more
  •  262
    Responsibility and Distributive Justice: An Introduction
    with Zofia Stemplowska Carl
    In Carl Knight & Zofia Stemplowska (eds.), Responsibility and Distributive Justice, Oxford University Press. 2011.
    This introductory chapter provides an overview of the recent debate about responsibility and distributive justice. It traces the recent philosophical focus on distributive justice to John Rawls and examines two arguments in his work which might be taken to contain the seeds of the focus on responsibility in later theories of distributive justice. It examines Ronald Dworkin's ‘equality of resources’, the ‘luck egalitarianism’ of Richard Arneson and G. A. Cohen, as well as the criticisms of their …Read more
  •  260
    In defence of luck egalitarianism
    Res Publica 11 (1): 1-10. 2005.
    This paper considers issues raised by Elizabeth Anderson's recent critique of the position she terms luck egalitarianism. It is maintained that luck egalitarianism, once clarified and elaborated in certain regards, remains the strongest egalitarian stance. Anderson's arguments that luck egalitarians abandon both the negligent and prudent dependent caretakers fails to account for the moderate positions open to luck egalitarians and overemphasizes their commitment to unregulated market choices. Th…Read more
  •  179
    A framework for luck egalitarianism in health and healthcare
    with Andreas Albertsen
    Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2): 165-169. 2015.
    Several attempts have been made to apply the choice-sensitive theory of distributive justice, luck egalitarianism, in the context of health and healthcare. This article presents a framework for this discussion by highlighting different normative decisions to be made in such an application, some of the objections to which luck egalitarians must provide answers and some of the practical implications associated with applying such an approach in the real world. It is argued that luck egalitarians sh…Read more
  •  178
    What is Grandfathering?
    Environmental Politics 22 (3): 410-427. 2013.
    Emissions grandfathering maintains that prior emissions increase future emission entitlements. The view forms a large part of actual emission control frameworks, but is routinely dismissed by political theorists and applied philosophers as evidently unjust. A sympathetic theoretical reconsideration of grandfathering suggests that the most plausible version is moderate, allowing that other considerations should influence emission entitlements, and be justified on instrumental grounds. The most pr…Read more
  •  145
    How should we decide which inequalities between people are justified, and which are unjustified? One answer is that such inequalities are only justified where there is a corresponding variation in responsible action or choice on the part of the persons concerned. This view, which has become known as 'luck egalitarianism', has come to occupy a central place in recent debates about distributive justice. This book is the first full length treatment of this significant development in contemporary p…Read more
  •  134
    The Method of Reflective Equilibrium: Wide, Radical, Fallible, Plausible
    Philosophical Papers 35 (2): 205-229. 2006.
    This article argues that, suitably modified, the method of reflective equilibrium is a plausible way of selecting moral principles. The appropriate conception of the method is wide and radical, admitting consideration of a full range of moral principles and arguments, and requiring the enquiring individual to consider others' views and undergo experiences that may offset any formative biases. The individual is not bound by his initial considered judgments, and may revise his view in any way what…Read more
  •  106
    The Metaphysical Case for Luck Egalitarianism
    Social Theory and Practice 32 (2): 173-189. 2006.
    Some critics of luck egalitarianism have suggested that its reference to responsibility leaves it either assuming metaphysical libertarianism or (in the inevitable absence of a resolution of the free will problem) practically impotent. This paper argues that luck egalitarianism need not fall into either trap. It may in fact be sensitive to the possibility that libertarianism is false, and would not be undermined were this the case. Here luck egalitarianism actually fares better than outcome egal…Read more
  •  93
    Responsibility, Desert, and Justice
    In Carl Knight & Zofia Stemplowska (eds.), Responsibility and Distributive Justice, Oxford University Press. 2011.
    This chapter identifies three contrasts between responsibility-sensitive justice and desert-sensitive justice. First, while responsibility may be appraised on prudential or moral grounds, it is argued that desert is necessarily moral. As moral appraisal is much more plausible, responsibility-sensitive justice is only attractive in one of its two formulations. Second, strict responsibility sensitivity does not compensate for all forms of bad brute luck, and forms of responsibility-sensitive justi…Read more
  •  58
    Liberal Multiculturalism Reconsidered
    POLITICS 24 (3): 189-97. 2004.
    This article starts by setting out the evaluative criteria provided by Will Kymlicka's liberal account of individual freedom and equality. Kymlicka's theory of cultural minority rights is then analysed using these criteria and found to be defective in two respects. First, his assignment of different rights to national and ethnic groups is shown to be inegalitarian with regard to generations after the first. Second, his recommendation of strong cultural protections is shown in some circumstances …Read more
  •  40
    In Defence of Global Egalitarianism
    Journal of Global Ethics 8 (1): 107-116. 2012.
    This essay argues that David Miller's criticisms of global egalitarianism do not undermine the view where it is stated in one of its stronger, luck egalitarian forms. The claim that global egalitarianism cannot specify a metric of justice which is broad enough to exclude spurious claims for redistribution, but precise enough to appropriately value different kinds of advantage, implicitly assumes that cultural understandings are the only legitimate way of identifying what counts as advantage. But…Read more
  •  31
    Critics of luck egalitarianism have claimed that, far from providing a justification for the public insurance functions of a welfare state as its proponents claim, the view objectionably abandons those who are deemed responsible for their dire straits. This article considers seven arguments that can be made in response to this ‘abandonment objection’. Four of these arguments are found wanting, with a recurrent problem being their reliance on a dubious sufficientarian or quasi-sufficientarian com…Read more
  •  30
    Climate change, fundamental interests, and global justice
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19 (5): 629-644. 2016.
  •  14
    In Defence of Luck Egalitarianism
    Res Publica 11 (1): 55-73. 2005.
    This paper considers issues raised by Elizabeth Anderson’s recent critique of the position she terms ‘luck egalitarianism’. It is maintained that luck egalitarianism, once clarified and elaborated in certain regards, remains the strongest egalitarian stance. Anderson’s arguments that luck egalitarians abandon both the negligent and prudent dependent caretakers fails to account for the moderate positions open to luck egalitarians and overemphasizes their commitment to unregulated market choices. …Read more