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On the significance of the basic structure: a priori baseline views and luck egalitarianism

Jubb, R. ORCID: (2011) On the significance of the basic structure: a priori baseline views and luck egalitarianism. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 14 (1). pp. 59-79. ISSN 1743-8772

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09692290.2010.517982


This paper uses the exploration of the grounds of a common criticism of luck egalitarianism to try to make an argument about both the proper subject of theorising about justice and how to approach that subject. It draws a distinction between what it calls basic structure views and a priori baseline views, where the former take the institutional aspects of political prescriptions seriously and the latter do not. It argues that objections to luck egalitarianism on the grounds of its harshness can in part be explained by this blindness to relevant features of institutions. Further, it may be that luck egalitarianism cannot regard its own enactment as just. A related objection to Dworkin’s equality of resources, which claims that it cannot pick a particular institutional background to set the costs of resources and so is radically indeterminate, is also presented. These results, I argue, give us good reason to reject all a priori baseline views.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:46754

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