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Equality of autonomy is a political philosophy concept of Amartya Sen that argues "that the ability and means to choose our life course should be spread as equally as possible across society"—i.e., an equal chance at autonomy or empowerment.[1] Equality of autonomy strives to spread empowerment widely so that "given their circumstances", people have more "choice and control".[2] The concept has a slightly different emphasis from related notions, such as the value of equality in the workplace ("equal opportunity") or equal material wealth ("equality of outcome").

According to Todd May, Sen's approach requires "active intervention of institutions like the state into people's lives" but with an aim towards "fostering of people's self-creation rather than their living conditions".[3] Sen argued that "the ability to convert incomes into opportunities is affected by a multiplicity of individual and social differences that mean some people will need more than others to achieve the same range of capabilities".[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sunder Katwala (21 October 2010). "It's equality of life chances, not literal equality, that the left espouses". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  2. ^ "Equality Impact Assessments". Hull Teaching Primary Care. 2011-07-15. Archived from the original on 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  3. ^ Todd May (2008). The Political Thought of Jacques Rancière: Creating Equality. The Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 20. Retrieved 2011-07-15. Amartya Sen has developed a theory of distributive justice that, like Rawls', requires the active intervention of institutions like the state into people's lives, but like Nozick's, aims that intervention at the fostering of people's self-creation rather than their living conditions. For Sen, the proper focus of a theory of justice is on what he calls capabilities, and he defines those capabilities on the basis of what he calls functionings.
  4. ^ Anne Phillips (2004). "Defending Equality of Outcome". Journal of Political Philosophy: 1–19. Retrieved 2011-07-15.