Tag Archives: egalitarianism

Lewis Mancini

Let us not think in the authoritarian terms of some individuals genetically engineering the characteristics of others. Instead, let us think in the egalitarian terms of each individual genetically re-engineering herself/himself according as s(he) pleases. What is being suggested here is that in the distant future, by means of in vivo genetic transformation techniques effected with recombinant DNA or some other biotechnological tool(s), it will be possible for any person (or other kind of organism) to be an introverted, academically-oriented, purple-haired, orange-eyed, 10 foot tall white male with an IQ of 160 on any given day and a party-going, humorous, green-haired, green-eyed, three foot tall green female with an IQ of 200 on the next day. Stated in more general terms, it will become possible for each one of us (that is, anyone alive during the future era in question) to be whatever we want to be whenever we want to be.

Lewis Mancini, ‘Riley-Day Syndrome, Brain Stimulation and the Genetic Engineering of a World without Pain’, Medical Hypotheses, vol. 31, no. 3 (March, 1990), pp. 206-207

Thomas Pogge

Nozick wants to make it appear that laissez-faire institutions are natural and define the baseline distribution which Rawls then seeks to revise ex post trough redistributive transfers. Nozick views the first option as natural and the second as making great demands upon the diligent and the gifted. He allows that, with unanimous consent, people can make the switch to the second scheme; but, if some object, we must stick to the first. Rawls can respond that a libertarian basic structure and his own more egalitarian liberal-democratic alternative are potions on the same footing: the second is, in a sense, demanding on the gifted, if they would do better under the first-but then the first is, in the same sense and symmetrically, demanding on the less gifted, who would do much better under the second scheme.

Thomas Pogge, ‘An Egalitarian Law of Peoples’, Philosophy & Public Affairs, vol. 23, no. 3 (Summer, 1994), p. 212

Gopal Sreenivasan

[H]owever attractive, the relevance of the Lockean theory of property to contemporary discussions of distributive justice is as a form of egalitarianism. If this is correct, then defenders of inegalitarian distributions of property may draw support from the Lockean theory only to the extent that they follow Locke in failing to adhere to the logic of its argument.

Gopal Sreenivasan, The Limits of Lockean Rights in Property, Oxford, 1995, p. 7