G.A. Cohen: Essays in Political Philosophy

On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice,
and Other Essays in Political Philosophy

by G. A. Cohen

(Princeton University Press, 2011)

288 pages


G. A. Cohen was one of the most gifted, influential, and progressive voices in contemporary political philosophy. At the time of his death in 2009, he had plans to bring together a number of his most significant papers. This is the first of three volumes to realize those plans. Drawing on three decades of work, it contains previously uncollected articles that have shaped many of the central debates in political philosophy, as well as papers published here for the first time. In these pieces, Cohen asks what egalitarians have most reason to equalize, he considers the relationship between freedom and property, and he reflects upon ideal theory and political practice.

Contents [preview]

Part One: Luck Egalitarianism

Ch. 1: On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice [pdf]
Ch. 2: Equality of What? On Welfare, Goods, and Capabilities
Afterword to Ch. 1 & 2
Ch. 3: Sen on Capability, Freedom, and Control
Ch. 4: Expensive Taste Rides Again
Ch. 5: Luck and Equality
Ch. 6: Fairness and Legitimacy in Justice, And: Does Option Luck Ever Preserve Justice?

Part Two: Freedom and Property

Ch. 7: Capitalism, Freedom, and the Proletariat

Ch. 8: Freedom and Money [paper]
Two Addenda to Ch. 8

Part Three: Ideal Theory and Political Practice

Ch. 9: Mind the Gap

Ch. 10: Back to Socialist Basics
Ch. 11: How to Do Political Philosophy
Ch. 12: Rescuing Justice from Constructivism and Equality from the Basic Structure Restriction [draft]

Gerald A. Cohen (1941-2009) was Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, University of Oxford, from 1985 to 2008.

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