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Rights, Culture and the LawThemes from the Legal and Political Philosophy of Joseph Raz$
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Lukas H. Meyer, Stanley L. Paulson, and Thomas W. Pogge

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248254

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248254.001.0001

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Equality, Incommensurability, and Rights

Equality, Incommensurability, and Rights

(p.119) 7 Equality, Incommensurability, and Rights
Rights, Culture and the Law


Oxford University Press

In The Morality of Freedom, Joseph Raz plausibly proposes the following statement as the general form of strictly egalitarian principles: ‘All Fs who do not have G have a right to G if some Fs have G’. He then proceeds to mount a sustained criticism of such principles as being deeply implausible. Can one not care about equality as such without being irrational, envious or gripped by a strange aesthetic ideal? This chapter argues that, under one of two mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive assumptions about the aggregate magnitude of G, caring about equality as such need not be encumbered with such undesirable baggage. The aggregate magnitude of anything is supposed to be either constant or variable. This chapter examines Raz's philosophy on equality, incommensurability, rights, egalitarian rule, pure negative liberty, and utilitarianism and the pursuit of happiness.

Keywords:   Joseph Raz, equality, incommensurability, rights, egalitarian rule, pure negative liberty, utilitarianism, happiness

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