Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 437–439 | Cite as

T. M. Scanlon: Why Does Inequality Matter?

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Hardback ISBN: 978-0-19-881269-2 170pp+ix, £18.99
  • Jonathan Seglow

Egalitarian reasons, declares T. M. Scanlon at the start of this book, an expanded version of his 2013 Uehiro Lectures at Oxford, are puzzling. We are concerned that the poor live in poverty, but why should we be concerned that they enjoy lives which are equal, in whatever sense we specify that ‘equality’ to those of the rich, especially given the interference in liberty which egalitarianism seems to require? It’s a real strength of this book that it eschews a blanket answer to this question and offers instead a series of reasons we have to object to inequality. First, says Scanlon‚ political institutions have reasons to be equally concerned with the lives of all those affected by the benefits they confer‚ so if public services are much better in affluent areas than they are in poorer ones that calls for egalitarian redress. Second, some societies are marked by status differences such that members of some groups are judged less eligible than others to be co-workers, friends, members...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonEghamUK

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