The Strange Neglect of the Basis of Equality in Contemporary Egalitarianism

  • John Charvet


A view widely held in contemporary Western ethical thinking is that all serious thought about political ethics in the modern world must begin with a belief in human equality that is substantive rather than formal. This is the belief that justifies Ronald Dworkin’s claim, in a phrase frequently endorsed, that modern political philosophy inhabits an egalitarian plateau.1 This book will begin with a discussion of what this substantive sense of equality is. However, the book’s main aim is to explore the very serious problems that arise from the way in which this sense of equality has been standardly justified and to propose a revision of that justification which will resolve these problems. Subsequently, the implications of this revised version for acceptable principles of justice, at national and international levels, will be discussed.


Difference Principle Procedural Fairness Political Ideal Distributive Ideal Luck Egalitarianism 
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Copyright information

© John Charvet 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Charvet
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of EconomicsUK

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