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Equal Endowments as Undominated Diversity

  • Philippe Van Parijs (a1)

Abstract

People vary in both tastes and talents. What is the most sensible formulation of the egalitarian ideal once this fact is fully taken into account? The paper examines a number of answers that have been offered to this question, in particular Ronald Dworkin’s counterfactual insurance schemes, and argues against them. It then presents an alternative proposal. The latter generalizes Bruce Ackerman’s notion of undominated genetic diversity, it can be interpreted as a condition of potential envy-freedom, and it is consistent with, though more specific than, Amartya Sen’s capability-based approach.

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