Luck Egalitarianism, Responsibility, and Political Liberalism

Dialogue 55 (1):107-130 (2016)
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Luck egalitarians argue that distributive justice should be understood in terms of our capacity to be responsible for our choices. Both proponents and critics assume that the theory must rely on a comprehensive conception of responsibility. I respond to luck egalitarianism’s critics by developing a political conception of responsibility that remains agnostic on the metaphysics of free choice. I construct this political conception by developing a novel reading of John Rawls’ distinction between the political and the comprehensive. A surprising consequence is that many responsibility-based objections to luck egalitarianism turn out to be objections to Rawls’ political liberalism as well.

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Ryan Long
Thomas Jefferson University


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