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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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Luck and Equality

Luck and Equality

Chapter:
(p.116) Chapter Five Luck and Equality
Source:
On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice, and Other Essays in Political Philosophy
Author(s):

G. A. Cohen

, Michael Otsuka
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691148700.003.0006

This chapter defends Cohen's claim, in “Currency,” that “a large part of the fundamental egalitarian aim is to extinguish the effect of brute luck on distribution,” where brute luck consists of differences in fortune that are not a reflection of choice. “Brute luck” is to be contrasted with “option luck,” where the latter consists of differences in fortune that are the upshot of chosen gambles. Whereas Cohen had previously endorsed Dworkin's view that egalitarian justice does not call for the compensation of those whose misfortune is purely down to bad option luck.

Keywords:   egalitarianism, egalitarians, brute luck, option luck, political philosophy, G. A. Cohen

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