By Eric Rakowski
The middle of this publication is a unique idea of distributive justice premised at the basic ethical equality of people. within the gentle of this concept, Rakowski considers 3 different types of difficulties which urgently require solutions--the distribution of assets, estate rights, and the saving of life--and presents not easy and unconventional solutions. additional, he criticizes the commercial research of legislations as a normative concept, and develops an alternate account of tort and estate law.
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Extra info for Equal Justice (Clarendon Paperbacks)
The finicky and the phlegmatic have no valid claim to special favors. 27 Egalitarian welfarism's unjust treatment of production mirrors its mishandling of consumption. People's choices to labor longer or harder are irrelevant to their material rewards, the theory declares; desires are all that matter, regardless of whether people contribute anything to satisfying them. The woman who slaves away at her job does not necessarily deserve to keep even a part of what she produces, just as someone who imprudently tries and fails may always be entitled to another shot at his fellow workers' expense.
In addition, it raises special problems of its own. The first difficulty is posed, yet again, by external preferences. Arneson excludes them from consideration in measuring a person's welfare and thus that person's opportunity for welfare. For a theory that accords welfare, or at any rate its possibility, pride of place, this exclusion cannot but seem odd. After all, external preferences are no less potential sources of welfare than are self-interested preferences. Some people assign them considerably more importance than they do all but their most basic self-interested preferences, and adjudge their lives successes or failures to a far greater degree according to the satisfaction or frustration of their most important external preferences than according to how well their self-interested preferences have fared.
The result would be a queer mosaic of happy and unhappy people, assuming that the central planners could make a reasonable guess at the ideal distribution. So uneven a distribution of utility could only make a mockery of the particular sort of egalitarianism the theory claims to embody. But the sole alternative--giving carte blanche to those who set themselves more grandiose ambitions or luxurious lifestyles-seems scarcely more attractive. Egalitarian welfarism is doomed to disappoint. -42circumstances apart, autonomous beings who cannot disclaim responsibility for the choices we make or the blemishes we carry.