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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

According to Rawls, Fair Equality of Opportunity requires that those who have the same native abilities and motivations have the same chance of securing offices and positions, regardless of their social class of origin, family background or other social circumstances. Despite its name, this principle does not guarantee equal opportunity for everyone because it allows people with various kinds of physical and psychological impairments and diseases to have lower chances at securing those positions once the adverse influences of their social circumstances have been corrected for. Our alternative principle is partially inspired by Rawls’ Difference Principle. What we call Fair Difference of Opportunity says that the default position should be true equality of opportunity, but if there are ways to improve the opportunities of all by allowing more and better opportunities to some, without violating the other principles of justice, then such arrangements would be just. Fair Difference of Opportunity, we argue, is more faithful to Rawls’s basic framework and more friendly to disabled people than Fair Equality of Opportunity.

Keywords: justice, fair equality of opportunity, self-respect, disability, John Rawls

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