Dmitry Sereda 1
  • 1 Independent Researcher, Proezd Berezovoy Roshtchy, 10, Moscow, Russian Federation 125252

Luck Egalitarianism: Two Lines of Critique

2021, vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 273–289 [issue contents]
This article is devoted to the stream in political philosophy which came to be known as “luck egalitarianism”. Luck egalitarians are concerned with the questions of distributive justice; their main idea is that no person should be worse-off due to factors which they are unable to influence. Luck egalitarians express this idea via the dichotomy of brute and option luck. The goal of the article is to describe two main lines of critique which luck egalitarianism encounters, and to assess which one is the most dangerous for this movement. Some authors criticize luck egalitarianism from a moral standpoint. They believe that it is overly cruel towards those who suffer due to unfortunate but free choices, humiliating towards those whom it deems to be worthy of help, and that it contradicts our moral intuitions concerning the question of what do people who engage in socially necessary, yet risky professions, deserve. Another important problem for this trend of political thought has to do with metaphysical criticism. Luck egalitarians claim that a person is not responsible not only for the status of her family, her gender, ethnicity, etc., but also for her talents and abilities. The question arises; is there anything for what a person can be genuinely responsible for? Thus, luck egalitarianism encounters the problem of determinism and free will. This problem threatens the identity of luck egalitarianism: if free will does not exist or if it cannot be identified, then the key dichotomy of brute and option luck is meaningless. The article demonstrates that it is the criticism of the second kind which currently poses the greatest problem for luck egalitarianism.
Citation: Sereda D. (2021) Egalitarizm udachi: dva napravleniya kritiki [Luck Egalitarianism: Two Lines of Critique]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 20, no 2, pp. 273-289 (in Russian)
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