Download Equality and Responsibility by Christopher Lake PDF

By Christopher Lake

ISBN-10: 0191529214

ISBN-13: 9780191529214

ISBN-10: 0199241740

ISBN-13: 9780199241743

How may still items be disbursed in our society? a few say both, others say in response to what everyone is liable for. either rules look believable yet neither inform the total tale. the writer examines what attracts us to those principles and appears at contemporary makes an attempt by means of egalitarian thinkers to convey them jointly in one distributive perfect.

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Extra info for Equality and Responsibility

Sample text

To this end, let me return here to what in the previous chapter I termed the responsibility principle—the principle that it is objectionable for someone to suffer a harm or loss through no fault of their own. What is objectionable about my suffering a harm or loss through no fault of my own that is not objectionable about the bare fact of my suffering a harm or loss? It is no answer to this to say that one is fair and the other unfair because that is to rehearse the concerns of the question rather than to supply an answer to it.

Nor are many drawn to the view that the absence of responsibility for a given benefit necessarily diminishes that benefit in the terms described. 8 In the field of rectificatory justice, for instance, most of us are familiar with the argument that it would in some sense be counter-productive not to tie punishment to individual responsibility. The thought here is not that an individual can only deserve to be punished if he is responsible for what he has done. Instead, the thought is that it would be inefficient to punish individuals where the relevant test of responsibility was not met.

Indeed, the fact that such claims address themselves to the liabilities we incur through conducting ourselves one way rather than another seems to presuppose a context of some kind, be it one of informal social norms or formal rules, privileges, and demands. My thought instead is that bare conformity with a set of rules—the sort of conformity that might arise without 30 EQUALITY AND RESPONSIBILITY reflection or choice—might be enough to establish my entitlement to a benefit but it is not enough to establish my responsibility for it.

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