Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Luck Egalitarianism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_735

Does it matter, morally speaking, whether a person (agent) is born male or female; into a wealthy or underprivileged family; into a Christian, Muslim, or nondenominational family; in a particular country or even in a particular part of a country or city? Most political philosophers argue that such arbitrary matters are irrelevant from a moral perspective. All persons have equal moral status. Such factors are a matter of luck. Luck, good and bad, is a fact of human life. However, if any of these factors, or any factors grounded in luck, affect a person’s life prospects and interests then, so the luck egalitarian argument goes, they do matter from the perspective of justice and it is a function of justice to neutralize or nullify the affects of such bad luck.

This entry explores the idea of luck egalitarianism, its origins, and its role in the literature on global justice. The first section briefly addresses the question: What is luck egalitarianism? The second section examines debates...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics and International RelationsUniversity College DublinDublinIreland