Skip to main content

Equality, Envy, and the Sense of Injustice

Norman, Richard J. (2002) Equality, Envy, and the Sense of Injustice. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 19 (1). pp. 43-54. ISSN 0264-3758. (doi:10.1111/1468-5930.00203) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)


This paper attempts to defend the value of equality against the accusation that it is an expression of irrational and disreputable feelings of envy of those who are better off. It draws on Rawls’ account of the sense of justice to suggest that resentment of inequalities may be a proper resentment of injustice. The case of resentment of ‘free riders’ is taken as one plausible example of a justified resentment of those who benefit unfairly from a scheme of cooperation. Further examples then link the case of the free rider to other cases of unjust inequalities which are the appropriate objects of resentment and indignation.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1468-5930.00203
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Fiona Godfrey
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2008 10:04 UTC
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 13:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year