Essays on responsibility sensitive egalitarianism
Robinson, Robert Christopher
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I defend Justice as Fairness against some of its most persuasive attacks, including GA Cohen's incentives argument. I show that Cohen's most important objections do not apply to the difference principle, as he suggests, but rather to the democratic principle of fair equality of opportunity. I show that Justice as fairness does not treat responsibility in an adequate way: Rawls allows particular entitlements that may not be justified by the two principles. Instead, taking responsibility seriously means defending a theory of distributive justice which is largely, though not entirely, egalitarian. I ask whether parties in a well ordered society can escape alienation and exploitation. I look to Marx and Mill, and conclude that one can be a liberal, defend a socialist political economy, and avoid Marx's most important worries. I next argue that considerations of fraternity and community make it impossible that, in a well ordered society, large disparities of wealth and income will exist.