IN this article, we defend the statement that the requirements of distributive justice are fulfilled when everyone has enough, often referred to as sufficientarianism or the sufficiency principle.1 This entails that justice does not require that we aim for an equal distribution, as many contemporary political philosophers claim. In fleshing out our account of sufficiency, we will show that the reasoning behind many arguments for distributive equality are, ought to be, or at least could be compatible with sufficiency understood in this manner.We will introduce the ideal of freedom from duress, by which we mean the freedom from significant pressure against succeeding in central aspects of human life, as the threshold above which people can be said to have enough. Alternative versions of the sufficiency principle have often been met with forceful objections, which have brought certain aspects and implications of the principle into question. 2 We believe, however, that sufficientarianism understood as freedom from duress can disarm these objections. Thus, we mean to bolster the notion of securing enough for everyone by providing intuitively appealing reasons for the importance of achieving sufficiency. We will claim, then, that any plausible *We are very thankful to Søren Flinch Midtgaard,
This paper suggests an account of sufficientarianism-i.e. that justice is fulfilled when everyone has enough-laid out within a general framework of the capability approach. In doing so, it seeks to show that sufficiency is especially plausible as an ideal of social justice when constructed around key capabilitarian insights such as freedom, pluralism, and attention to empirical interconnections between central capabilities. Correspondingly, we elaborate on how a framework for evaluating social justice would look when constructed in this way and give reasons for why capabilitarians should embrace sufficientarianism. We do this by elaborating on how capabilitarian values underpin sufficiency. On this basis, we identify three categories of central capabilities; those related to biological and physical needs, those to fundamental interests of a human agent, and those to fundamental interests of a social being. In each category, we argue, achieving sufficiency requires different distributional patterns depending on how the capabilities themselves work and interrelate. This argument adds a new dimension to the way capabilitarians think about social justice and changes how we should target instances of social justice from social-political viewpoint.
In his new book, Luck Egalitarianism, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen responds to challenges raised by social egalitarians against luck egalitarianism. Social egalitarianism is the view according to which a just society is one where people relate to each other as equals, while the basic premise of luck egalitarianism is that it is unfair if people are worse-off than others through no fault or choice of their own. Lippert-Rasmussen argues that the most important objections to luck egalitarianism made by social egalitarians can either be largely accommodated by luck egalitarians or lack the argumentative force that its proponents believe them to have. While Lippert-Rasmussen does offer a version of luck egalitarianism that seems to avoid some of the main lines of criticism, he mischaracterizes parts of both the form and the content of the disagreement, and thus ultimately misses the mark. In this paper, we provide a substantive, a methodological and a political defense of social egalitarianism by elaborating on this mischaracterization. More work must be done, we argue, if social egalitarianism is to be dismissed and its concerns genuinely incorporated in the luck egalitarian framework. Until this is done, the supposed theoretical superiority of luck egalitarianism remains contested.
In this paper we develop a new methodology for normative theorising, which we call Directed Reflective Equilibrium. Directed Reflective Equilibrium is based on a taxonomy that distinguishes between a number of different functions of hypothetical cases, including two dimensions that we call representation and elicitation. Like its predecessor, Directed Reflective Equilibrium accepts that neither intuitions nor basic principles are immune to revision and that our commitments on various levels of philosophical enquiry should be brought into equilibrium. However, it also offers guidance about how different types of cases ought to be sequenced to achieve this result. We argue that this ‘directional’ approach improves, in various ways, upon the non-directional approach of traditional Reflective Equilibrium.
Please refer to published version for the most recent bibliographic citation information. If a published version is known of, the repository item page linked to above, will contain details on accessing it.
In recent years, much public attention has been devoted to the existence of pay discrepancies between men and women at the upper end of the income scale. For example, there has been considerable discussion of the ‘Hollywood gender pay gap’. We can refer to such discrepancies as cases of millionaire inequality. These cases generate conflicting intuitions. On the one hand, the unequal remuneration involved looks like a troubling case of gender injustice. On the other, it’s natural to feel uneasy when confronted with the suggestion that multi-millionaires are somehow being paid inadequately. In this paper, we consider two arguments for rectifying millionaire inequality, clarifying their appeal but also identifying the obstacles that each will have to surmount in order to succeed.
In this introduction, we underline the theoretical connection between responsibility, luck, and equality upon which luck egalitarianism rests, and we consider the social and political relevance of the approach. We then situate Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen's version of the view as proposed in his book, Luck Egalitarianism, in the egalitarian landscape. Lastly, we introduce the six papers that make up this symposium: some are critiques from within or outside luck egalitarianism, while others engage with the theory by expanding the scope of luck egalitarianism. KEYWORDS equality; individual responsibility; distributive justice; luck egalitarianism; Kasper lippertrasmussen Inequalities and individual responsibility Imagine two people, Abel and Beth. Abel's health is deteriorating, he has few friends, and he is struggling financially. Beth, on the other hand, is in excellent shape-health wise, socially, and financially. Abel's life, in other words, is pretty miserable whereas Beth leads a fully flourishing life. It is not hard for any of us to imagine people like Abel or Beth. Some of us seem to be living safe and fulfilling lives while others struggle in one or more important respects. Now, imagine that all we knew about our two hypothetical persons-and about the people they represent and remind us of-is that they are living lives of unequal quality. Would we be in a position to describe this situation as unjust? Some would say that we already know enough to make this judgment: the mere fact that Abel's life is miserable when Beth is thriving makes this state of affairs unjust-full stop. One reason for this could be egalitarian: Abel and Beth are faced with very unequal health, financial, and well-being outcomes. Many
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.