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Egalitarian justice and valuational judgment

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  • Jc Political Theory
  • Bj Ethics


Contemporary discussions of egalitarian justice have often focused on the issue of expensive taste. G.A. Cohen has recently abandoned the view that all chosen disadvantages are non-compensable, now maintaining that chosen expensive judgmental tastes—those endorsed by valuational judgment—are compensable as it is unreasonable to expect persons not to develop them. But chosen expensive brute taste—the main type of non-compensable expensive taste on the new scheme—cannot be described in such a way that there is a normative difference between it and chosen expensive judgmental taste. As there are related problems with denying compensation for the other kind of expensive taste that might remain non-compensable, Cohen's position on taste appears to be either implausible or virtually indistinguishable from that of equality of welfare. However, compensation for valuational judgment-based expensive taste might be justified on grounds of responsibility.

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