Equality of opportunity, old and new.
Ethics, 111, (4), . (doi:10.1086/233572).
Forms of egalitarianism which permit inequalities of condition but only when they appropriately reflect individual choice have attracted considerable interest. They appeal because they promise an effective response to those who criticize egalitarianism for failing to hold people properly responsible for how well their lives are going.
These new forms of egalitarianism seem to occupy the same territory as what is usually termed ‘equality of opportunity’ and are sometimes regarded as offering a better interpretation of that ideal. However, the relationship between them and the traditional meritocratic understanding of equality of opportunity, which requires selection procedures to be designed to pick out the best-qualified candidates, is far from obvious. Are these new forms of egalitarianism compatible with this traditional understanding? Can they incorporate it or do they supersede it in some way?
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