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Discussion Paper

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Egalitarian theorists, since Rawls, have in the main advocated equalizing some objective measure of individual well-being, such as primary goods, functioning, or resources, rather than subjective welfare. This discussion, however, has assumed, implicitly, a static environment. By analyzing a society that survives for many generations, we demonstrate that equality of opportunity for some objective condition is incompatible with human development over time. We argue that this incompatibility can be resolved by equalizing opportunities for welfare. Thus, ‘subjectivism’ seems necessary if we are to hope for a society which can both equalize opportunities and support the development of human capacity over time.

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