New PDF release: Against Equality of Opportunity

By Matt Cavanagh

ISBN-10: 0199265488

ISBN-13: 9780199265480

Nowadays virtually all people turns out to imagine it visible that equality of chance is not less than a part of what constitutes a good society. even as they're so imprecise approximately what equality of chance really quantities to that it could possibly start to seem like an empty time period, a handy shorthand for how jobs (or for that subject college areas, or positions of energy, or in basic terms areas at the neighborhood activities workforce) could be allotted, no matter what that occurs to be.
Matt Cavanagh deals a hugely provocative and unique new view, suggesting that the way in which we predict approximately equality and chance will be notably changed.

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Example text

I have already suggested that tactically speaking this would be a mistake. Moreover, the conciliatory response is in fact more than adequate for our purposes, since the slippery slope argument is especially weak in this particular case. Even if the owner of a private sector company had his freedom to hire completely removed, he would remain free to change other things about the company, free to spend the money he made from owning it, and indeed free to sell it if he so wished. In other words, even if he had his freedom to hire completely removed, this wouldn't threaten the point of owning the company.

For now, there is one last thing I want to say about the background to the debate, before I move on to give a brief outline of the book as a whole. What I want to say concerns the scope of the debate. These days, people talk about equality of opportunity in relation to all sorts of things: not just jobs, but education, health, standards of living, and so on. There are two possibilities here. Either they understand `equality of opportunity' to refer to a general principle of distributive justice" which can be applied to other things besides jobs; or else they take it to apply specifically to jobs, but in a way that has implications for other, related things.

So I reject the idea that employers should be legally obliged to hire the best person. It is a separate question, as I indicated earlier, whether we should try to further the cause of merit in less direct ways, by creating the background conditions in which merit can thrive, and then leaving it up to employers whether they take advantage of that. Now, there are two ways of understanding this indirect kind of meritocracy On the first, the promotion of merit should be the sole objective of educational and social policy.

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Against Equality of Opportunity by Matt Cavanagh


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