Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Social EqualityOn What It Means to be Equals$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 May 2020

Social Equality and Social Inequality

Social Equality and Social Inequality

(p.209) 10 Social Equality and Social Inequality
Social Equality

Jonathan Wolff

Oxford University Press

Theorists of social equality argue that the inspiration behind egalitarianism is not the idea of the equalization of some currency of justice, but the idea of a society in which all regard and treat each other as equals. On this view, barriers to equality include asymmetric social relations involving hierarchy, exclusion, or oppression. Generally, though, social egalitarians have found it difficult to present a positive theory of social equality, which has been regarded as a weakness. However, according to Amartya Sen, the task of political philosophy is not to provide an ideal theory of justice, but to identify and propose remedies for “manifest injustice.” Hence, on this approach, what looked like a weakness turns out to be a strength. Accordingly, this chapter goes on to consider how to make sense of this position in philosophical terms.

Keywords:   equality, inequality, hierarchy, oppression, social relationships

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .