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Social EqualityOn What It Means to be Equals$
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Carina Fourie, Fabian Schuppert, and Ivo Wallimann-Helmer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199331109

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199331109.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

The Practice of Equality

The Practice of Equality

(p.20) (p.21) 1 The Practice of Equality
Social Equality

Samuel Scheffler

Oxford University Press

This Chapter discusses two views of equality: the distributive view and the relational view. According to the first view, equality is an essentially distributive value. We can directly assess distributions as being more or less egalitarian, and justice requires that we strive to achieve fully egalitarian distributions, except insofar as other values forbid it. According to the relational view, equality is an ideal governing certain kinds of interpersonal relationships. It plays a central role in political philosophy because justice requires the establishment of a society of equals, a society whose members relate to one another on a footing of equality. This chapter develops the relational view in greater detail and argues that it is not, contrary to what some have suggested, merely a variant of the distributive view.

Keywords:   distributive equality, relational equality, society of equals, deliberative constraint, social relationships

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