Liberty, Desert and the Market: A Philosophical Study

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 23, 2004 - Philosophy
Are inequalities of income created by the free market just? In this book Serena Olsaretti examines two main arguments that justify those inequalities: the first claims that they are just because they are deserved, and the second claims that they are just because they are what free individuals are entitled to. Both these arguments purport to show, in different ways, that giving responsible individuals their due requires that free market inequalities in incomes be allowed. Olsaretti argues, however, that neither argument is successful, and shows that when we examine closely the principle of desert and the notions of liberty and choice invoked by defenders of the free market, it appears that a conception of justice that would accommodate these notions, far from supporting free market inequalities, calls for their elimination. Her book will be of interest to a wide range of readers in political philosophy, political theory and normative economics.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 Desert and justifications of the market
10
Chapter 2 Incentive payments and compensatory desert
39
Chapter 3 Productive contributions and deserved market rewards
62
Chapter 4 Liberty and entitlements in the libertarian justification of the free market
86
a critique
109
beyond libertarians and their critics
137
Conclusion
162
Bibliography
170
Index
181
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About the author (2004)

Serena Olsaretti is Lecturer at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. She is the editor of Desert and Justice (2003) and has also published in The Journal of Political Philosophy and Utilitas.

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