Equality and Opportunity

Paperback | January 3, 2015

byShlomi Segall

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Egalitarians have traditionally been suspicious of equality of opportunity. But the past twenty five years or so have seen a sea-change in egalitarian thinking about that concept. "Luck egalitarians" such as G. A. Cohen, Richard Arneson, and John Roemer have paved a new way of thinking aboutequality of opportunity, and infused it with radical egalitarian content. In this book, Shlomi Segall brings together these developments in egalitarian theory and offers a comprehensive account of "radical equality of opportunity".Radical equality of opportunity (EOp) differs from more traditional conceptions on several dimensions. Most notably, while other accounts of equality of opportunity strive to neutralize legal and/or socio-economic obstacles to one's opportunity-set the radical account seeks to remove also naturalones. Radical EOp, then, aims at neutralizing all obstacles that lie outside individuals' control. This has far-reaching implications, and the book is devoted to exploring and defending them.The book touches on four main themes. First, it locates the ideal of radical EOp within egalitarian distributive justice. Segall advances there three claims in particular: that we ought to be concerned with equality in individual holdings (rather than merely social relations); that we ought to bebothered, as egalitarians, with unequal outcomes, and never equal ones; and that we ought to be concerned with disadvantages the absolute (rather than relative) badness of which, the agent could not have controlled. Second, the book applies the concept of radical equality of opportunity to officeand hiring. It demonstrates that radical EOp yields an attractive account both with regard to justice in the allocation of jobs on the one hand, and discrimination, on the other. Third, the book offers an account of radical EOp in education and upbringing. Segall tries to defend there the ratherradical implications of the account, namely that it may hold children responsible for their choices, and that it places quite demanding requirements on parents. Finally, the book develops an account of radical equality of opportunity for health, to rival Norman Daniels's Rawlsian account. Theproposed account is distinguished in the parity that it creates between social and natural causes of ill health.

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Egalitarians have traditionally been suspicious of equality of opportunity. But the past twenty five years or so have seen a sea-change in egalitarian thinking about that concept. "Luck egalitarians" such as G. A. Cohen, Richard Arneson, and John Roemer have paved a new way of thinking aboutequality of opportunity, and infused it with ...

Shlomi Segall is a Senior Lecturer and the Chair of the Integrative Program in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of Health, Luck, and Justice (Princeton University Press, 2010).
Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pagesPublished:January 3, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198713665

ISBN - 13:9780198713661

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionPart I - Radical Equality of Opportunity1. Why Equality?2. Equality of Outcome3. Inequality of RisksPart II - Hiring4. Luck Egalitarian Justice in Hiring5. Discrimination without Inequality?Part III - Upbringing6. Against Equality of Opportunity in Education?7. If you're a Luck-Egalitarian, How Come You Read Bedtime Stories to Your Children?Part IV - Health8. Equality of Opportunity for Health9. Affirmative Action in HealthReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"if one must be a luck egalitarian, then the version that Segall advances strikes me as the best one currently on offer. Moreover, his account of justice and its implications is presented in a clear and concise manner. Irrespective of whether one is a relational or luck egalitarian (or not anegalitarian at all), the book is a great resource for understanding the current state of debate within liberal egalitarian political philosophy." --Blain Neufeld, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews