Pluralism, liberalism, and distributive justice

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Crowder, George Errol
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University of San Diego School of Law
It is argued that a liberal reading of the Berlinian concept of value pluralism suggests an egalitarian rather than a laissez-faire approach to distributive justice. Within egalitarianism the debate between welfare, resource, and capabilities theories is more finely balanced. Pluralists will be unhappy with subjective versions of the welfare view, but some objective versions may be compatible with pluralism. The resource paradigm may seem too narrow at first sight, but in Dworkin's hands it can be made to cover many of the cases that would concern pluralists. On the whole, though, the author is inclined to believe that it is the capabilities model that meets pluralist requirements most fully, for the reasons that emerged in the last section. Pluralists should accept that, just as the human good is plural, so too is morally relevant disadvantage.
Law, Egalitarianism, Justice, Welfare
Crowder, G.E., 2009. Pluralism, liberalism, and distributive justice. San Diego Law Review, 46(4), 773-802.