Egalitarianism and the Value of Equality
Source TitleJournal of Ethics and Social Philosophy: online peer-reviewed journal of moral, political and legal philosophy
University of Melbourne Author/sMOSS, JEREMY
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMOSS, J. (2009). Egalitarianism and the Value of Equality. Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy, 3 (3), pp.1-6. https://doi.org/10.26556/jesp.v3i3.129.
Access StatusOpen Access
Derek Parfit’s distinction between telic and deontic egalitarianism has stimulated a large amount of discussion concerning the value of equality. Recently, egalitarians have argued that his distinction does not capture many of the plausible alternatives to deontic and telic egalitarianism. Several authors have claimed that there is a type of “conditional egalitarianism” that Parfit does not consider. I will argue that some responses to Parfit ignore the fact that the telic/deontic distinction incorporates two further distinctions between genesis and outcomes and between intrinsic and non-intrinsic valuations of equality. I will argue that although conditional egalitarianism may be a plausible response to Parfit, neither the non-intrinsic nor the intrinsic versions of it put forward to date capture one of the most plausible ways to value equality. In particular, neither intrinsic nor non-intrinsic versions of egalitarianism sufficiently articulate the relation of being “part of” another value. What I call “constitutive egalitarianism” offers an alternative way of conceiving the value of equality and constitutes a plausible defense of the value of equality. Further, the conception put forward here is better able to capture the sense in which deontic conceptions, discussed for instance by Scanlon, value equality intrinsically.
KeywordsSocial Philosophy; Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
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