The Many Evils of Inequality: An Examination of T. M. Scanlon’s Pluralist Account

| March 2019
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Why Does Inequality Matter book coverAbstract: Why Does Inequality Matter? is the long-awaited book-length development of T. M. Scanlon’s views on objectionable inequality, and our obligations to eliminate or reduce it. The book presents an impressively nuanced and thoughtful analysis as well as succinct explanations of different objections to various forms of inequality. It is not only set to further cement Scanlon’s influence on philosophical debates about equality but also makes a good guide to the problems of inequality for the nonspecialist reader. The book is not without faults, however. Even within a pluralist approach to inequality such as Scanlon’s, it is not sufficiently clear what, if anything, his specific objections to status inequality, and to control over other people’s lives, have in common with his other egalitarian objections to inequality of political influence, opportunity, and income and wealth—or whether, in the case of control, the objection is egalitarian at all.

 

Keywords: T. M. Scanlon, equality, inequality, pluralism, status, control

 

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Category: Issue 33.1, Review Essays

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