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Constructing a Contractualist Egalitarianism: Equality after Scanlon*

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T. M. Scanlon’s work on the value of equality provides the resources for developing a powerful and distinctive contractualist egalitarian view. This view acknowledges a range of egalitarian concerns, of a diverse nature, and points us towards a picture of the place of equality in the normative landscape that is richer and more complex than some other alternative views. I describe the outlines of this contractualist egalitarian view, addressing questions regarding its strength and scope. I then discuss the relationship of equality to other values, such as fairness and community (or fraternity), and examine the contrast between contractualist egalitarian and luck egalitarian views. I conclude with a sketch of some of the practical implications that might follow from further pursuit of Scanlon’s insights on the value of equality, in the hope that this may suggest an interesting direction of travel for further work.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Politics, University of York,, York YO10 5DD, UK,


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