Abstract for: Equality?

This paper describes a theoretical application of systems thinking and the use of a simple system dynamics model to throw light on a question of political philosophy – when it comes to equality, what is it that we are trying to measure? The context of the original work was an exploration of inequalities in health. The purpose of this paper is to further explore the contribution that a system dynamics approach can make to this conundrum. In it I briefly comment on why equality and inequality are important concepts in political philosophy, what the competing claims are in considering what it is we are trying to equalise, and I then introduce a simple system dynamics conceptualisation and model from which insights arise. This paper is an extract from, and development of, an MA dissertation in Applied Professional Ethics from the University of Leeds in which one marker suggested that “the best parts of the dissertation seemed to be those in which a system-modelling approach was taken to the evaluation of Rawls’ theory of justice, including comparing it with other theories……. It would have been good to see this material given more than the fairly short section it received.” This paper takes a small step in fulfilling the markers wishes!