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Intra-Family Inequality and Justice1


In “The Pecking Order,” Dalton Conley argues that inequalities between siblings are larger than inequalities at the level of the overall society. Our article discusses the normative implications for institutions of this observation. We show that the question of state intervention for curbing intra-family inequality reveals an internal tension within liberalism between autonomy and toleration, which bears on the forms that the intervention of institutions may take. Despite the pros and cons of both commitments, autonomy-based liberalism appears more compatible with the involvement of the state for egalitarian reasons within the family than toleration-based liberalism.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
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