The immense literature on distributive justice comprises many arguments about how to reconcile equality with incentives, how to distinguish luck from choice, and how to balance equity and responsibility. Less attention has been given to establishing and explaining the value of equality. One of the many lasting contributions of The Morality of Freedom is the careful analysis of equality’s value developed in Chapter 9. After disentangling egalitarian principles from rational generality, universal entitlements, and mere rhetorical egalitarianism, Raz presents his argument against strict egalitarianism, that is against the view that equality, or its maximization, is a noninstrumental reason for political action.

The argument turns on the distinction between satiable and insatiable principles. The demands of satiable principles, like every person is entitled to basic housing, can...

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