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Why Does Inequality Matter?


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Table of Contents

1: Introduction 2: Equal Concern 3: Status Inequality 4: Procedural Fairness 5: Substantive Opportunity 6: Political Equality 7: Equality, Liberty, and Coercion 8: Desert 9: Unequal Income 10: Conclusions

About the Author

T. M. Scanlon attended Princeton University (BA in Philosophy, 1962), studied at Oxford, Brasenose College, 1962-63, and then at Harvard University (PhD in Philosophy, 1968). Scanlon taught philosophy at Princeton 1966-1984, then at Harvard from 1984 until his retirement in 2016. He was one of the founding editors of Philosophy & Public Affairs and has published mainly in moral and political philosophy.


This book's lengthy discussion of when and why inequality is morally objectionable expertly combines accessibility, subtlety, and sophistication ... the book is clearly written, discusses many arguments in both public debate and academic literature, and develops and assesses various ways in which such arguments can be developed. The main strength of this book is not its novelty, since many arguments can be found in Scanlon's earlier work as well, but the way it summarizes and collects arguments against inequality and presents them in an accessible style. This book is a must read for anyone interested in inequality and social justice. * Dick Timmer, Journal of Moral Philosophy *
Scanlon's Why DoesInequality Matter? is a significant contribution to assessing what is wrong with economic inequality from a relational egalitarian perspective. * Carina Fourie, Mind *
[A] densely packed and succinctly written book which is analytical political philosophy at its best: clear, rigorous, and admirably sharp. It's also pitched at just the right level of abstraction; no one who reads it could fail to appreciate how Scanlon is troubled by the sheer extent of inequality in the United States, and there are suggestions of policy positions, for example dispersal of media ownership. ... anyone remotely interested in egalitarianism will find much to reward them in this outstanding book. * Jonathan Seglow, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice *

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