Syllabus for Egalitarianism



  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5FP025
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Practical Philosophy A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle
    G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

    Second cycle
    A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2019-02-12
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2021-03-08
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 27, 2021
  • Entry requirements: A student is eligible if they have fulfilled the requirements for a bachelor's degree in humanities or holds an equivalent foreign degree
  • Responsible department: Department of Philosophy

Decisions and guidelines

The course is offered to C level students and students at advanced level. For students at advanced level, the examination requirements are higher than for students at C level.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student is expected to:

  • know the names of and differences between the most influential versions of egalitarianism
  • know the most influential objections to specific egalitarian theories and to egalitarianism more generally, and the most influential replies to these objections
  • be acquainted with the basic formal differences between different families of egalitarian theories
  • be able to discuss knowledgably the main justificatory frameworks for distributive ethical theories
  • be able to apply the knowledge gained of egalitarian ethical theories to reasoning about specific ethical cases.


A central issue in ethical theorising is that of how we ought to allocate goods. Some theories about how goods ought to be allocated take no particular account of differences in how well off different potential recipients of those goods are. An important subclass of those theories that do take ethical account of the fact that some people are worse off than others are classified as forms of egalitarianism.

Despite sharing this common theme, the different forms of egalitarianism not only disagree about how to account for inequality, but also about what inequality is. This course offers a critical survey of the main current varieties of egalitarianism. The course also provides a foundation for students interested in pursuing other topics in distributive justice.


Instruction is provided through lectures and seminars. Language of instruction is English.


One take-home assignment in the form of an essay.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 27, 2021

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Reading List

Information about any additional litterature is provided in Studium by the course director.