PG Essay Prize

Res Publica

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 211-225

First online:

Need There be a Defence of Equality? Winner of the 2010 Postgraduate Essay Prize

  • Christopher NathanAffiliated withDepartment of Politics, University of Exeter Email author 

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There is an apparent problem in identifying a basis for equality. This problem vanishes if what I call the ‘intuited response’ is successful. According to this response, there is no further explanation of the significance of the feature in virtue of which an individual matters, beyond the bare fact that it is the feature in virtue of which an individual matters. I argue against this claim, and conclude that if the problem of identifying a basis for equality is to be resolved, it is necessary to defend a substantive account of the independent significance of some feature.


Equality Egalitarianism Justification Explanation Moral status