Whose opportunities ? (Colloque, oct. 2009, National Library of Portugal)

Equal Freedom Against Equal Opportunity

samedi 24 octobre 2009, par François Hudon

Thèmes : Egalité des chances

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Luck egalitarianism’s growing popularity in the last twenty years has been attributed to its incorporation of individual responsibility into the realm of egalitarianism. Since such responsibility has regularly been associated with discussion of liberty, freedom or autonomy, it is not surprising that some will think that an equal distribution of freedom is a form of equality of opportunity. To the contrary, I will argue that equal freedom is not best understood as an equal opportunity principle. My argument is made of three sub-theses. After having defined luck egalitarianism/equality of opportunity in section 2, I argue in section 3 that freedom does not involve individual responsibility in a way that would cohere with the luck egalitarian approach. In section 4, I show that, although equal freedom can be interpreted as a type of equality of opportunity, an equal distribution of freedom over time does not have to be interpreted as such. Finally, I defend in section 5 the idea according to which equal freedom as continuous/simultaneous equality is a better embodiment of our moral equality than ex ante/starting-gate equality.

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par François Hudon

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