David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 53 (3):257-284 (2011)
This article discusses various arguments for and against treating equality as a fundamental norm in law and political philosophy, combining prior arguments to the effect that equality is essentially an empty idea with arguments that treat it as a non-empty but mistaken value that should be rejected. After concluding that most of the arguments for treating equality as a fundamental value fall victim to one or both of these arguments, it considers more closely arguments made by philosophers such as Ronald Dworkin and Thomas Nagel that base a duty of promoting equality on the fact that governments impose a legal order on persons without their consent. It concludes that these arguments are mistaken: if the legal order imposed by government is justified then imposing it is not wrongful and generates no duty of equal treatment, while if that order is not justified no requirement of equality of treatment would cure the lack of justification. It concludes that equality should not be a value in law or political theory, but in some cases other considerations (such as alleviating poverty and distress, promoting accuracy and substantive justice, avoiding arbitrariness, and other values) may justify particular rules that are sometimes mistakenly thought to be based on equality
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Steven Wall (2007). Democracy and Equality. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):416–438.
Joseph Raz (2009). On the Value of Distributional Equality. In Stephen De Wijze, Matthew H. Kramer & Ian Carter (eds.), Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justice: Themes and Challenges. Routledge.
Jeremy Waldron (2002). God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations of John Locke's Political Thought. Cambridge University Press.
Roger Fjellstrom (2002). Equality Does Not Entail Equality Across Species. Environmental Ethics 24 (4):339-352.
Edo Pivčević (2003). Equality and Morality. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):75-92.
Wojciech Sadurski (2008). Equality and Legitimacy. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2010-07-27
Total downloads18 ( #94,585 of 1,102,993 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #62,017 of 1,102,993 )
How can I increase my downloads?