In modern democratic societies, the term "egalitarian" is often used to refer to a position that favors, for any of a wide array of reasons, a greater degree of equality than currently exists. It is one of the most important and hotly debated problems in contemporary political philosophy, occupying a central place in the work of John Rawls, Thomas Nagel and Derek Parfit.
This book provides a superb introduction to the problem of egalitarianism. It clarifies and assesses rival theories of egalitarianism and also includes case studies, bringing a deceptively complex problem into clear focus. Beginning with a historical overview of the problem Iwao Hirose examines the following topics:
- equality of what? Is it possible to measure well-being?
- deontic egalitarianism
- luck egalitarianism
- telic egalitarianism
- egalitarianism in practice: global equality
- egalitarianism in practice: health equality.
Including chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary this is an ideal starting point for anyone studying egalitarianism for the first time as well as more advanced students and researchers.