Egalitarianism: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


1st Edition

By Iwao Hirose


208 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415783194
pub: 2014-06-22
SAVE ~$8.99
Hardback: 9780415783187
pub: 2014-07-22
SAVE ~$35.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315772004
pub: 2014-07-17
from $22.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Some people are worse off than others. Does this fact give rise to moral concern? Egalitarianism claims that it does, for a wide array of reasons. It is one of the most important and hotly debated problems in moral and political philosophy, occupying a central place in the work of John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, G. A. Cohen and Derek Parfit. It also plays an important role in practical contexts such as the allocation of health care resources, the design of education and tax systems, and the pursuit of global justice.

Egalitarianism is a superb introduction to the problem of contemporary egalitarian theories. It explains how rival theories of egalitarianism evaluate distributions of people’s well-being, and carefully assesses the theoretical structure of each theory. It also examines how egalitarian theories are applied to the distribution of health and health care, thus bringing a deceptively complex philosophical debate into clear focus. Beginning with a brief introduction to basic terminology, Iwao Hirose examines the following topics:

  • Rawlsian egalitarianism
  • luck egalitarianism
  • telic egalitarianism
  • prioritarianism
  • sufficientarianism
  • equality and time
  • equality in health and health care.

Including chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary, this is an ideal starting point for anyone studying distributive justice for the first time, and will also be of interest to more advanced students and researchers in philosophy, economics, political theory, public policy, and public health.


"A superb introduction to egalitarianism as a theory of distributive justice. It is very clear, covers all the key issues, and manages to be rigorous without getting bogged down in detail. An ideal book for an upper level undergraduate course or a graduate course." - Peter Vallentyne, University of Missouri, USA

"This is a wonderful introduction to and insightful discussion of the core aspects of egalitarianism. With exemplary style, Hirose manages to bridge the gap between abstract philosophical analysis and concrete distributive judgments. It will be of great interest to philosophers, but also accessible to those working and studying in a wide range of disciplines." - Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, Aarhus University, Denmark

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Rawlsian egalitarianism 2. Luck egalitarianism 3. Telic egalitarianism 4. Prioritarianism 5. Sufficientarianism 6. Equality and time 7. Equality in health and health care Conclusion. Index

About the Author

Iwao Hirose is Associate Professor at the Philosophy Department and the School of Environment, McGill University, Canada. He is the author of The Ethics of Health Care Rationing (with Greg Bognar, Routledge, 2014) and Moral Aggregation (2014).

About the Series

New Problems of Philosophy

New Problems of Philosophy

Series Editor: José Luis Bermúdez, Texas A&M University

'Routledge's New Problems of Philosophy series has a most impressive line-up of topical volumes aimed at upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in philosophy and at others with interests in cutting edge philosophical work. The authors are influential figures in their respective fields and notably adept at synthesizing and explaining intricate topics fairly and comprehensively.' - John Heil, Monash University, Australia, and Washington University, St Louis, USA

'This is an outstanding collection of volumes. The topics are well chosen and the authors are outstanding. They will be fine texts in a wide range of courses.' - Stephen Stich, Rutgers University, USA

The New Problems of Philosophy series provides accessible and engaging surveys of the most important problems in contemporary philosophy. Each book examines a topic or theme that has emerged on the philosophical landscape in recent years, or that is a longstanding problem refreshed in light of recent work in philosophy and related disciplines. Clearly explaining the nature of the problem at hand and assessing attempts to answer it, books in the series are excellent starting-points for undergraduate and graduate students wishing to study a single topic in depth. They will also be essential reading for professional philosophers. Additional features include chapter summaries, further reading, and a glossary of technical terms.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: