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Harry G. Frankfurt

Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University, author Philosophical Essays and of the essay "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person" published in the Journal of Philosophy No. 68 (1971)


There is no necessary conceptual connection between a person's relative economic position and whether he has needs of any degree of urgency. ... A concern for economic equality, construed as desirable in itself, tends to divert a person's attention away from endeavouring to discover within his experience of himself and of his life what he himself really cares about and what will actually satisfy him, although this is the most basic and the most decisive task upon which an intelligent selection of economic goals depends. Exaggerating the moral importance of economic equality is harmful, in other words, because it is alienating. ... the doctrine of equality contributes to the moral disorientation and shallowness of our time.

1988 - from Philosophical Essays, Cambridge University Press