I am grateful to the participants in this symposium for engaging so thoughtfully with my book The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good?1 I want to congratulate the editors of this new journal on launching a venue for fresh thinking about inequality and thank them for commissioning this symposium for the inaugural issue.

I have learned a great deal from the essays gathered here and the rich array of challenges they offer. In considering my response, I am struck by the fact the none of the fifteen essays defends meritocracy against the principled objections that I (and many others) have raised against it. No one argues, at least not explicitly, that the successful deserve the...

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