Basic Equality and the Site of Distributive Justice
The Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy, and International Relations
cordially invites you to a public lecture of the
7th Annual Doctoral Conference
(University of Pavia)
“Basic Equality and the Site of Distributive Justice”
26 April, 2012 - Thursday
About the lecture
Basic equality is a necessary premise in any entitlement-based justification of distributive equality: in what sense are individuals equals, such that they are appropriately ‘treated as equals’ and are therefore owed equality of something? The question of the site of egalitarian justice concerns the nature of the agent that is bound by egalitarian distributive principles: do those principles serve to guide the behaviour of individuals, or are they only meant to guide the behaviour of political institutions? In this paper, I argue that our understanding of the nature of basic equality can affect our account of the site of egalitarian justice. In particular, I argue that Rawlsians, who ascribe certain egalitarian duties to the state without ascribing them to individuals, need to appeal to a ‘twofold’ account of basic equality: there is an important sense in which individuals are equals in the eyes of the state but not in the eyes of other individuals, even though there is another sense in which individuals are equals in the eyes of each other.
About the lecturer
Ian Carter is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Pavia, Italy. His research interests include the concepts of freedom, equality, rights, and respect for persons. He is the author of A Measure of Freedom (Oxford University Press, 1999) and La libertà eguale (Feltrinelli, 2005), and the editor (with Matthew Kramer and Stephen de Wijze) of Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justice (Routledge, 2009). His most recent articles have appeared in Ethics, The Journal of Political Philosophy, and Economics and Philosophy.
For more information on the Annual Doctoral Conference please go to the event’s website at