Luck egalitarianism and non‐overlapping generations

Ratio 36 (3):215-223 (2023)
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This paper argues that there are good reasons to limit the scope of luck egalitarianism to co‐existing people. First, I outline reasons to be sceptical about how “luck” works intergenerationally and therefore the very grounding of luck egalitarianism between non‐overlapping generations. Second, I argue that what Kasper Lippert‐Rasmussen calls the “core luck egalitarian claim” allows significant intergenerational inequality which is a problem for those who object to such inequality. Third, luck egalitarianism cannot accommodate the intuition that it might be required to leave future generations better off than we are, even if it would come at no cost to ourselves. Finally, I argue that following another, broader, version of luck egalitarianism would require us to level down future generations and possibly even ourselves, which is a problem for those persuaded by the levelling‐down objection.

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Elizabeth Finneron-Burns
University of Western Ontario


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