Social equality: on what it means to be equals


Fourie, Carina; Schuppert, Fabian; Wallimann-Helmer, Ivo (Eds.), 2015. Social Equality: On What It Means to Be Equals. NY: Oxford University Press.

Is equality valuable? This question dominates many discussions of social justice, which tend to center on whether certain forms of distributive equality are valuable, such as the equal distribution of primary social goods. But these discussions often neglect what is known as social or relational equality. Social equality suggests that equality is foremost about relationships and interactions between people, rather than being primarily about distribution.

A number of philosophers have written about the significance of social equality, and it has also played an important role in real-life egalitarian movements, such as feminism and civil rights movements. However, as it has been relatively neglected in comparison to the debates about distributive equality, it requires much more theoretical attention. This volume brings together a collection of ten original essays which present new analyses of social and relational equality in philosophy and political theory. The essays analyze the nature of social equality, as well as its relationship to justice and politics.

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