1 Kabak Asked: February 25, 20212021-02-25T14:23:28+05:30 2021-02-25T14:23:28+05:30In: Political Science What is the equality opportunity? Explain in 250 words 1 What is the equality opportunity? Explain in 250 words bpsc-131 1 Answer Voted Oldest Recent admin 2021-02-25T22:16:26+05:30Added an answer on February 25, 2021 at 10:16 pm When we ask what equality of opportunity is we could be asking two questions. First, we could be asking about the concept of equality of opportunity. If so, we are asking for the idea in its most general form. We are asking what kind of features a statement must have to count as a statement of equality of opportunity rather than a statement of something else. Second, we could be asking for the correct conception of equality of opportunity. The term ‘conception’ refers to a specific interpretation of a notion or idea. It is a particular way of understanding the kind of equality and the kinds of opportunities that are most valuable or more important. While there is only one concept of equality of opportunity, there are many different conceptions. The concept of Equality of Opportunity has been examined by philosopher Peter Westen. Westen shows that an opportunity is a three-way relationship between a person, some obstacles, and a desired goal. However, a person only has an opportunity if she has a chance of achieving that goal. One cannot have an opportunity if one faces insurmountable obstacles that make it impossible to secure the goal. For instance, one cannot have an opportunity to become the president of the United States if one is not a natural born citizen. Many people, therefore, have no opportunity to become president of the United States. A person can have an opportunity even in the face of many, quite serious, obstacles. So, a natural born US citizen has the opportunity to become president, but she faces serious obstacles, such as accruing the relevant number and distribution of votes, as well as winning primaries. So, to have an opportunity means to face no insurmountable obstacles with respect to some important or desired goal, but what about having an equal opportunity? In order for opportunities to be equal within a group, each member of that group must face the same relevant obstacles, none insurmountable, with respect to achieving the same desirable goal. In our example, all natural born citizens of the US have an equal opportunity when irrelevant goals, such as race, gender and religious affiliation are removed and when relevant obstacles, such as being democratically elected, remain. Some critics have doubted the importance of mentioning equality when thinking about opportunities within a group. They argue that the only equality here is universalism, meaning that the opportunity is had by all. We can see why one might be drawn to the idea that equality plays little role in this ideal since we could say that everyone should have an opportunity to become president and this seems to do the job as well as saying that everyone should have an equal opportunity to become president. Equality appears to be doing no work, and this may lead us to question whether this expresses the value of equality. At this point we do well to contrast equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. Equality of opportunity requires only that people be free from certain obstacles to pursue their own happiness and success. As such, Equality of Opportunity is not opposed to different outcomes of the conscientious, but fair pursuit of jobs, health, wealth, education and other goods that people value, so long as everyone faces the same obstacles. Sometimes this idea is known as the level-playing field because its main concern is that no one is unfairly advantaged before they even start out. It is in stark opposition to games that are rigged in favour of some over others. By contrast, Equality of Outcome insists that everyone do equally well with respect to some of the goods that individuals value, regardless of their effort, talents, and whether they wish to pursue it. This sort of equality can seem undesirable, but it can also be understood as one that is impossible to achieve because people are unequal in so many of the respects that affect outcomes, such as natural talent, health, their attitudes to hard work and in their interests and preferences. This can lead us to favour equal opportunities and to allow the inequality of outcomes. However, we should note that equal outcomes may still be very important indicators of inequality of opportunity, and that equal outcomes may be appropriate for children and others who lack responsible agency. For IGNOU BPSC-131 Introduction to Political Theory 0 Reply Share Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Leave an answerLeave an answerCancel reply Featured image Select file Browse Answer Anonymously Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.