Gallup of the Week: Is Meritocracy Fair?


In meritocracy, positions, money and prestige are divided on the basis of demonstrated abilities and know-how, but this ideal is not without problems, says Helsingin Sanomat in the story.

Meritocracy has been called cruel because it seems to give a valid justification for why some win and others lose. If one did not succeed in the old class society, one could always blame the privileges and riches of the upper class. In contrast, in a meritocracy based on one’s own abilities, one can only blame oneself if one does not succeed.

“The idea that success is morally deserved produces arrogance in those who succeed and shame and bitterness in those who fail,” says Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. Antti Kauppinen.

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Meritocracy makes sense in many ways, because it is often good to choose the most competent for different tasks.

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Still, it is possible to question the assumption that people actually succeed on their own merits.

For example, no one personally chooses the traits or cognitive abilities that are inherited from their parents in their genes. Nor does anyone choose a family to grow with or without support.

Success does not depend on them either. Sheer coincidence also affects in many ways what we end up in society, Kauppinen reminds.

“Even if we have equal gifts of nature, equal upbringing and education, it is still up to us how our various investments and investments do in society,” Kauppinen says.

“How we are rewarded in the marketplace depends on the supply and demand that is right for our expertise.”

Because social status is much dependent on innate abilities, the work and luck of other people, a successful person is no more morally deserving than someone less successful.


Source: Tiede by www.tiede.fi.

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