Unconditional Equals

Princeton University Press (2021)
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Abstract

Why equality cannot be conditional on a shared human “nature” but has to be for all For centuries, ringing declarations about all men being created equal appealed to a shared human nature as the reason to consider ourselves equals. But appeals to natural equality invited gradations of natural difference, and the ambiguity at the heart of “nature” enabled generations to write of people as equal by nature while barely noticing the exclusion of those marked as inferior by their gender, race, or class. Despite what we commonly tell ourselves, these exclusions and gradations continue today. In Unconditional Equals, political philosopher Anne Phillips challenges attempts to justify equality by reference to a shared human nature, arguing that justification turns into conditions and ends up as exclusion. Rejecting the logic of justification, she calls instead for a genuinely unconditional equality. Drawing on political, feminist, and postcolonial theory, Unconditional Equals argues that we should understand equality not as something grounded in shared characteristics but as something people enact when they refuse to be considered inferiors. At a time when the supposedly shared belief in human equality is so patently not shared, the book makes a powerful case for seeing equality as a commitment we make to ourselves and others, and a claim we make on others when they deny us our status as equals.

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Citations of this work

Basic Equality.Paul Sagar - 2024 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Políticas de la definición de lo humano: más allá de un problema de igualdad.Enver Joel Torregroza Lara - 2024 - Las Torres de Lucca: Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 13 (1):31-39.
The dignitarian return.Matthew Wray Perry - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.
Luis Villoro y el principio de no exclusión.Carlos Montemayor - 2023 - Diánoia Revista de Filosofía 68 (90):31-51.
The Aptness of Envy.Jordan David Thomas Walters - 2023 - American Journal of Political Science 1 (1):1-11.

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