The Constitutive Value of Distributive Equality

Open to the Public
Zrinyi u. 14
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 5:30pm
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

The Department of Political Science and the Department of Philosophy

cordially invite you to the lecture 

The Constitutive Value of Distributive Equality

delivered by

Ian Carter

Department of Political and Social Studies, University of Pavia

Date: March 12, 2013 – 17.30,

Venue: CEU, Zrinyi u. 14, Room 412.

Abstract: The debate over the value of distributive equality has mostly concerned attempts to argue for or against its intrinsic value. In this paper we argue against the intrinsic value of distributive equality but in favour of its "constitutive" value. Distributive equality has constitutive value because its occurrence is necessary for the justice of certain distributive outcomes. In the light of this account of the value of equality, we hope to show what is right and what is wrong in a number of alternative accounts, including those Raz, Kagan, Parfit, Frankfurt, Temkin and Christiano, as well as pointing out its implications for the relation between equality and responsibility, and for the so-called "levelling down" objection.

Professor Ian Carter is currently Associate Professor in Political Philosophy at the Department of Political and Social Studies, the University of Pavia. Carter's work on rights has concentrated on controversies regarding the choice theory and the interest theory of rights, on the logical structure of rights and on the relation between freedom and private property, while his work on equality has included critiques of freedom-based answers to the question “equality of what?”, including that of the so-called “capability approach”, and the defence of an alternative freedom-based approach that builds on the theses defended in A Measure of Freedom (OUP, 1999). He is also a member of the editorial boards of Economics and PhilosophyJournal of Applied PhilosophyFilosofia e Questioni PubblicheNotizie di PoliteiaIl Politico and Quaderni di Scienza Politica.