Philosophical questions, when first encountered by the uninitiated, often
seem either silly or meaningless. Why is there something rather than
nothing? Do physical objects continue to exist when nobody is perceiv-
ing them? Does it make sense to say “this sentence is false”? What is
beauty? This book boldly adds a new question to the already long list of
such philosophical conundrums: Should all workers receive equal pay?
Once posed, genuinely philosophical questions, even those that seem
ridiculous or absurd at first glance, have a stubborn way of continually
resurfacing until we take them seriously. Some who see the title of this
book will have an initially negative reaction: “What a crazy idea! Paying
everyone equally, regardless of what they do, would never work!”
Nevertheless, most readers would concede that a just world is better than
an unjust world, and that ultimately equality at some level is a necessary
condition for justice. If this is the case, then perhaps we need to think
harder about what type of equality, what type of pay, what type of workers,
and what type of “should” this question would need to pose in order to be
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