Against Equality of Opportunity - download pdf or read online

By Matt Cavanagh

ISBN-10: 0199265488

ISBN-13: 9780199265480

Nowadays nearly each person turns out to imagine it noticeable that equality of chance is no less than a part of what constitutes a good society. while they're so obscure approximately what equality of chance really quantities to that it might start to seem like an empty time period, a handy shorthand for how jobs (or for that topic collage locations, or positions of energy, or basically locations at the neighborhood activities workforce) may be allotted, no matter what that occurs to be.
Matt Cavanagh bargains a hugely provocative and unique new view, suggesting that the way in which we predict approximately equality and chance can be substantially changed.

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Example text

Anyway, for whatever reason, most people seem to assume that meritocracy must be at least part of the answer to the question of how jobs should be allocated. My aim is to loosen this grip that meritocracy has on the debate. I argue, first, that hiring on merit has more to do with efficiency than fairness, and second, that assuming we are conceding that employers have at least some rights in this area, it is difficult to see how these rights could be overridden by considerations of mere efficiency.

The same seems to be true of 'equality of opportunity'. The fact that we all use the same form of words makes us think we must agree on something: we agree that whatever it is exactly we believe in, 'equality of opportunity' is a good way of describing it. But this sense ofa shared central idea is an illusion. The fact that we all converge on a certain form of words does not mean we actually agree on anything substantial. However, perhaps this is a little too pessimistic. If someone says they believe in equality of opportunity, that might not tell us exactly what they believe, but it does seem to tell us something about what kind of view they have.

In other words, even if he had his freedom to hire completely removed, this wouldn't threaten the point of owning the company. Given that most theories of equal opportunity don't in fact require the complete removal of employers' freedom to hire, but merely that certain restrictions be placed on that freedom, it is doubly hard to present these theories as in effect being a surreptitious attack on the very idea of private enterprise. It seems that we can dismiss the libertarian objection, that the only legitimate reason for constraining private sector employers' free exercise of their property rights is to prevent them violating the rights of other people.

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Against Equality of Opportunity by Matt Cavanagh


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