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On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice, and Other Essays in Political Philosophy$
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G. A. Cohen and Michael Otsuka

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148700

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148700.001.0001

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Expensive Taste Rides Again

Expensive Taste Rides Again

(p.81) Chapter Four Expensive Taste Rides Again
On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice, and Other Essays in Political Philosophy

G. A. Cohen

, Michael Otsuka
Princeton University Press

This chapter is a reply to “Equality and Capability,” in which Ronald Dworkin responded to some of the criticisms of his work that the Cohen made in “On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice.” It begins by distinguishing two broad criticisms of equality of welfare that Dworkin has developed, one surrounding the indeterminacy of the concept of welfare and one surrounding the problem of expensive taste. It then explains what the phrase “expensive taste” means within the present debate. The remainder of the chapter discusses brute taste, that is, taste that is not guided by judgment; refutes the principal argument that Dworkin deploys against compensation for expensive judgmental taste; explains why the dispute about expensive taste matters; and offers a fragment of a taxonomy that distinguishes contrasting degrees of control that people display over the acquisition and the persistence of their tastes.

Keywords:   Ronald Dworkin, equality, welfare, expensive taste, judgmental taste, G. A. Cohen

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