Levelling the Playing FieldThe Idea of Equal Opportunity and its Place in Egalitarian Thought

Levelling the Playing FieldThe Idea of Equal Opportunity and its Place in Egalitarian Thought

Andrew Mason

Print publication date: 2007

ISBN: 9780199264414

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

‘Equality of opportunity for all’ is a fine piece of political rhetoric but the ideal that lies behind it is slippery. Some see it as an alternative to a more robust form of egalitarianism, whilst others think that when it is properly understood it provides us with a real radical vision of what it is to level the playing field. This book combines a meritocratic conception of equality of opportunity that governs access to advantaged social positions, with redistributive principles that seek to mitigate the effects of differences in people's circumstances. Taken together, these spell out what it is to level the playing field in the way that justice requires.