Lecture by Joseph Heath (University of Toronto) – Egalitarianism and Status Hierarchy

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor universiteit tilburg
As part of the PhD Summer School: Ethics and Economics, Joseph Heath (University of Toronto) will give a lecture on Egalitarianism and Status Hierarchy, followed by a panel discussion. All are invited to attend the lecture and panel discussion, to take place August 28th, 2018.

Organizing university

Tilburg University


Tuesday the 28th of August, 2018, 20:00-22:00


Black Box, Tilburg University (Warandelaan 2, Tilburg)

Type of activity

Lecture and panel discussion

About the topic

When it comes to popular attitudes towards inequality, there is considerable evidence to suggest that people care a great deal about status inequality, relative to material inequality. And yet the amount that has been written, in the philosophical literature, about material inequality easily eclipses that which has been written about status inequality. Some egalitarians, of course, subscribe to the Marxian view that status inequalities are merely “superstructural,” and so will disappear once appropriate changes are made in the material “base” of society. Both everyday experience and social-scientific analysis suggest that this is wishful thinking, and that status hierarchy is ineliminable. The question, therefore, is how egalitarians should think about this, and in particular, how the other features of an egalitarian society should be structured, in order to accommodate the fact that, in the dimension of social status, there will be persistent inequality. There are five basic strategies that have been proposed in the literature, which I refer to as elimination, compensation, recognition, neutralization, and insulation. I will suggest that the first four approaches are unworkable, and that the insulation strategy is the only viable one.


20:00-21:00 Lecture: Egalitarianism and Status Hierarchy – Joseph Heath (University of Toronto)
21:00-22:00 Panel discussion: Egalitarianism and Status Hierarchy – Panelists: Rutger Claassen (Utrecht University), Stefan Gosepath (FU Berlin), Joseph Heath, and Lisa Herzog (TU Munich). Moderator: Bruno Verbeek (Leiden University)


The event is free of charge, but registration is required.

Registration/application form

Please register using this form. A maximum of 90 people can register for this event.


Huub Brouwer (Tilburg University)

Contact info

For further information about the lecture and panel debate, please contact Huub Brouwer (H.M.Brouwer@tilburguniversity.edu). For practical inquires, please contact the OZSW administrative office (secretariaat@ozsw.nl).