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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Distributive egalitarianism rests on the idea of equal moral status of persons. Does it follow from that idea directly, without reference to institution-based relations between persons? The answer of non-institutional theories is yes. The answer of institutional theories is no. This chapter argues that both theories are defective. Institutional l theories cannot deliver the principle of equal shares which is at the core of distributive egalitarianism. Non-institutional theories cannot determine what persons have a claim to equal shares of, nor can they identify the standard of equality. A two-level account will be proposed, non-institutional at the basic level, but with recourse to institution-regarding considerations at the next level. Since the scope of the principle of equal shares is fixed at the basic level, two-level theories have the same position on the issue of scope as non-institutional theories. They have, thus, a strong built-in bias in favor of cosmopolitanism.

Keywords: cosmopolitanism, distributive egalitarianism, equal moral status, equal share, institutional theory, non-institutional theory

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