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How to Identify Disadvantage: Taking the Envy Test Seriously

Parr, T (2017) 'How to Identify Disadvantage: Taking the Envy Test Seriously.' Political Studies. ISSN 0032-3217

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Abstract

In this paper, I am concerned with the comparative disadvantage an individual suffers in having less valuable opportunities than another individual. The dominant approach with respect to this topic proceeds by identifying a metric by which to determine whether an individual?s opportunities are less valuable than another?s. Let?s call this the Metric Test. However, there is another way in which to proceed. Rather than appealing to a metric by which to determine disadvantage, we could instead allow an individual to determine for herself whether or not she is disadvantaged. On the version of this view that I shall defend, we should treat an individual as disadvantaged if and only if that individual envies another?s opportunities. Let?s call this the Envy Test. My overall aim is to illuminate the appeal of the Envy Test and, in particular, to explain its superiority over the Metric Test.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Tom Parr
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 10:13
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2017 18:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19451

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