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Distributive Justice and DisabilityUtilitarianism against Egalitarianism$
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Mark S. Stein

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100570

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100570.001.0001

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Conclusion: Philosophy and Policy

Conclusion: Philosophy and Policy

(p.266) XII Conclusion: Philosophy and Policy
Distributive Justice and Disability

Mark S. Stein

Yale University Press

Redistribution from rich to poor can purportedly be justified by utilitarian, resource egalitarian, and welfare egalitarian theories. Utilitarianism does so based on the assumption that additional money benefits the poor more than the rich; resource egalitarianism, based on the assumption that the poor have fewer resources than the rich; and welfare egalitarianism, based on the assumption that the poor have less welfare than the rich. Because the three theories seem to converge, the question is how to decide which one should be endorse. The approach taken in this book has been to consider how the three theories deal with issues of disability, rather than focus on the undifferentiated rich and the undifferentiated poor. By addressing issues of disability, a greater divergence between utilitarianism and the egalitarian theories emerges. In testing utilitarianism against egalitarian theories, this book has demonstrated that some people would benefit more from resources, while others are worse off in resources, or in welfare, or in both.

Keywords:   redistribution, utilitarianism, resource egalitarianism, resources, welfare egalitarianism, welfare, disability

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