On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice, and Other Essays in Political Philosophy

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Overview

"From start to finish, a permanent invitation to fight lazy thinking and sloppy writing and a masterly demonstration of how to do it: straight to the difficult core of each issue; quite often with humor, most of the time with an explicit political engagement, always with impeccable intellectual honesty. The irreplaceable Jerry Cohen at his best."—Philippe van Parijs, Université catholique de Louvain

"G. A. Cohen argues brilliantly for two important and unfashionable ideas: that accidental inequality is unjust and that poverty limits freedom. Cohen's essays reveal a wonderful mind in search of the fundamental truths about justice. Here you have the mix of clarity and depth that marks philosophy at its apex."—Joshua Cohen, Stanford University

"This will be one of the most important books in political philosophy published this decade, and compulsory reading for anyone working on distributive justice, including philosophers, legal and political theorists, and philosophically inclined economists."—Andrew Williams, ICREA and Pompeu Fabra University

"G. A. Cohen's landmark essays on luck egalitarianism, freedom, and property have become standard points of reference. These highly acclaimed pieces have been scattered over a wide range of journals and edited volumes, so having them now in a single volume is an enormous boon. Very valuably, the book also includes the unpublished essay 'How to Do Political Philosophy,' in which Cohen reflects on the way he sought to address the issues in these essays."—Hillel Steiner, professor emeritus, University of Manchester

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Editorial Reviews

Political Studies Review - Richard Mullender
While alerting his readers to the difficulties faced by philosophers, Cohen is a source of guidance to those seeking to find their way in the field of political philosophy.
From the Publisher
"While alerting his readers to the difficulties faced by philosophers, Cohen is a source of guidance to those seeking to find their way in the field of political philosophy."—Richard Mullender, Political Studies Review

"Cohen wrote with incredible clarity, analyzed with great insight, and argued with the utmost rigor. He did all this while addressing fundamental problems of political philosophy. It will thus be a joy for those interested in these topics to read, or reread, these essays."—Peter Vallentyne, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691148717
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/24/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 682,983
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

G. A. Cohen (1941-2009) was the Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, University of Oxford, from 1985 to 2008. At the time of his death, he held the Quain Chair in Jurisprudence at University College London. His books include "Karl Marx's Theory of History" and "Why Not Socialism?" (both Princeton). Michael Otsuka is professor of philosophy at University College London.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Preface vii
Acknowledgments xiii

Part One: Luck Egalitarianism

Chapter One: On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice 3
Chapter Two: Equality of What? On Welfare, Goods, and Capabilities 44
Afterword to Chapters One and Two 61
Chapter Three: Sen on Capability, Freedom, and Control 73
Chapter Four: Expensive Taste Rides Again 81
Chapter Five: Luck and Equality 116
Chapter Six: Fairness and Legitimacy in Justice, And: Does Option Luck Ever Preserve Justice? 124

Part Two: Freedom and Property

Chapter Seven: Capitalism, Freedom, and the Proletariat 147
Chapter Eight: Freedom and Money 166
Two Addenda to "Freedom and Money" 193

Part Three: Ideal Theory and Political Practice

Chapter Nine: Mind the Gap 203
Chapter Ten: Back to Socialist Basics 211
Chapter Eleven: How to Do Political Philosophy 225
Chapter Twelve: Rescuing Justice from Constructivism and Equality from the Basic Structure Restriction 236
Works Cited 255
Index 263

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