CONFERENCE WITH ANDREW WILLIAMS AND PAULA CASAL: WHY INEQUALITY MATTERS?
For years, social scientists study the causes and consequences of inequalities, but from the field of philosophy of law a new question arises: why, at the moral level, we consider unequal inequality or certain levels of inequality?
The question of why we are concerned about inequality gave rise to the lecture that Andrew Williams and Paula Casal, both professors from the Pompeu Fabra University and researchers from ICREA (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) were considering at the ninth session of the cycle "Fight the inequalities" organized by the Fundació Catalunya Europa with the support of the Caixa and the Club of Rome.
Casal explained how distributive justice has been dealt with from different philosophical currents, among which the utilitarian, sufficient, priority or egalitarian ones stand out. Thus, while utilitarians defend the highest welfare for the maximum number of people, enough people are encouraged to have people "enough" to live, priority groups raise the resources they need to go to those who need it most, and egalitarian ones are committed to social equality , equal opportunities and equal results.
For Andrew Williams, "sometimes we care about inequality because equality has benefits," but in this case it is instrumental reasons, which do not deal with distributive justice. Therefore, from a philosophical point of view, we must look for other arguments beyond the beneficial relationship that an egalitarian society brings to society as a whole. Williams pointed out one important: "Everyone has to obey laws but not everyone has the same influence on the development of public policies." In this sense, inequality should worry us.