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Equality and Variation

Dates
Monday 14 November 2016 (15:15-17:00)
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Philosophy Society Seminar Series 2016/17

  • Speaker: Gerald Lang (Leeds)

All meetings take place 15.15-17:00 in ERI 149. All welcome!

Abstract

Liberal egalitarians often task themselves with answering the ‘equality of what?’ question: assuming we are equals, what should we distribute equally? But is that assumption reliable? What is it about us that makes it appropriate to distribute to each of us an equal amount of something-or-other? Theorists such as Ian Carter and Jeremy Waldron think that there is a fundamental category of equality, ‘basic equality’, which we should seek, and which, if found, can answer this question. Though tempting, I think the search for basic equality is wrongheaded, and I outline a number of serious reservations about it. These negative conclusions shed oblique but revealing light on what we should be looking for when investigating the foundations of human moral equality.

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