Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
In Rescuing Justice and Equality, G. A. Cohen argues that a state of affairs which is equality preserving and Pareto-optimal is possible. In doing so, Cohen adopts an incorrect view of practical possibility. For Cohen, a person (A) being able to realize a given state of affairs is evidence that most persons can realize that same state of affairs. In contrast, I contend that an example of person A being able to realize a state of affairs only evidences the fact that persons who possess similar talents to A can realize that same state of affairs. That is to say, on my view, a state of affairs is practically possible if and only if it is logically, nomologically, and psychologically possible for nearly all persons. As a result, I contend that an equality preserving and Pareto-optimal state of affairs is practically impossible.
Wallace, Kevin Stanley, "The Practical Impossibility of Cohen's Rescuing Justice & Equality." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2013.