Luck, opportunity and disability
Equality of opportunity is widely held to be a requirement of distributive justice. If anything is uncontroversial in political philosophy, it is the idea that equal opportunity is good.1 Equality of opportunity is commonly understood to demand three things. First, it requires open competition for social positions – for jobs and for admittance to higher education. Second, it requires that contestants be assessed in terms of their qualiﬁcations where qualiﬁcations are understood as the capabilities needed to fulﬁll the duties of the position. Selectors are obliged to choose those applicants who are the most qualiﬁed. Third, it requires that individuals have adequate access to the qualiﬁcations associated with various social positions. Following John Rawls, I will call this common notion of equality of opportunity ‘fair equality of opportunity’ (Rawls 1971). This ideal can be interpreted in a number of ways, so there are many variants of fair equality of opportunity.