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Equality for Inegalitarians

  • Date Published: September 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521251709

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  • This book offers a new and compelling account of distributive justice and its relation to choice. Unlike luck egalitarians, who treat unchosen differences in people's circumstances as sources of unjust inequality to be overcome, Sher views such differences as pervasive and unavoidable features of the human situation. Appealing to an original account of what makes us moral equals, he argues that our interest in successfully negotiating life's ever-shifting contingencies is more basic than our interest in achieving any more specific goals. He argues, also, that the state's obligation to promote this interest supports a principled version of the view that what matters about resources, opportunity, and other secondary goods is only that each person have enough. The book opens up a variety of new questions, and offers a distinctive new perspective for scholars of political theory and political philosophy, and for those interested in distributive justice and luck egalitarianism.

    • Clearly written and nontechnical
    • Engages with well-entrenched debates while at the same time opening up new topics for discussion
    • Clarifies the theoretical issues underlying some hotly debated issues about equality and responsibility
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘At once a magisterial overview of the field and a deeply original and important contribution, this is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary debates over justice and egalitarianism. Sher's book promises to change the contours of those debates in lasting ways.' David McCabe, Colgate University, New York

    ‘[Sher] abandons the decades-long preoccupation with Rawlsianism and focuses exclusively on luck egalitarianism … the book is refreshing. … rich and sophisticated …’ Shlomi Segall, The Philosophical Quarterly

    'The book is admirably concise. Problems with opposing views are illustrated with humorous, carefully chosen examples. The critical chapters (2-4) are carefully executed and ultimately persuasive. The early positive chapters (5-7) engage with some of the deepest questions in practical philosophy; they are engaging and thought-provoking. … It is no exaggeration to say that it is required reading for anyone interested in luck egalitarianism or sufficientism about distributive justice.' Jason Raibley, Murphy Institute, Tulane University and California State University, Long Beach

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521251709
    • length: 190 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Reconciling equality and choice
    2. Luck as the absence of control
    3. Equality, responsibility, desert
    4. The monistic turn
    5. Why we are moral equals
    6. Completing the turn
    7. Coping with contingency
    8. Enough is enough
    9. From sufficiency to equality.

  • Author

    George Sher, Rice University, Houston
    George Sher is Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Philosophy at Rice University. His publications include Desert (1987), Beyond Neutrality: Perfectionism and Politics (Cambridge, 1997) and Who Knew? Responsibility Without Awareness (2009).

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