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Egalitarianism: Is Leximin the Only Option?

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  • Tungodden, Bertil

Abstract

The most influential egalitarian perspective is undoubtedly Rawls s (1971, 1993), which assigns absolute priority to the least advantaged in society (the difference principle). However, many have claimed that even though an egalitarian perspective should imply some priority to the worst off, the Rawlsian perspective is too demanding. One response to this criticism is to argue in favour of an egalitarian perspective that never assigns absolute priority to the worse off, but which still includes limited priority to those members of society in distributive conflicts. A different response to the demandingness criticism is to agree that the worse off should not always be given absolute priority, but to argue that there are some cases where they should be. In this paper, we elaborate on this view, and look at the possibility of deviating from the leximin approach within this category of egalitarian principles.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.

Volume (Year): 16 (2000)
Issue (Month): 02 (October)
Pages: 229-245

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:16:y:2000:i:02:p:229-245_00

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Cited by:
  1. Kristof Bosmans, 2007. "Comparing degrees of inequality aversion," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 405-428, October.
  2. Roland Iwan Luttens & Erwin Ooghe, 2007. "Is it Fair to 'Make Work Pay'?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 599-626, November.
  3. Michele Lombardi & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-078, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Marc Fleurbaey, 2001. "The Pazner-Schmeidler Social Ordering: A Defense," Working Papers 328, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
  5. LUTTENS, Roland Iwan & OOGHE, Erwin, 2006. "Is it fair to ‘make work pay’ ?," CORE Discussion Papers 2006026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

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