Egalitarian principles play an important role in our moral and political discourse. Yet there’s no doubt that some people are smarter, stronger, or more talented in certain respects than others.
Most of us hold the deep moral commitment that we are all equal in some basic way. All humans are worthy of equal (moral) concern, respect, and dignity.
Jeremy Waldron, a famous NYU philosopher, defends this principle of basic equality in his new book. This review of the book by the fabulous Amia Srinivasan challenges some of his core arguments in this entertaining and engaging article.
Is a commitment to basic equality enough to ground meaningful principles of justice? If we were looking for some quality possessed by all humans to justify basic equality, how can we avoid excluding the disabled from our realm of moral concern? What would justify excluding animals as well?
It's a long but spectacular read:
Log in or register to post comments
According to the Declaration of Independence, the basic human rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are God-given.
The concept of equality is as important to America's self-conception as it is confusing. What sort of equality? Equality before the law; equality of opportunity; equal access to all the benefits
From Aristotle and Kant to Hume and Darwin, philosophers and scientists have long denied the idea that animals are capable of acting for moral reasons.