Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The philosophical problem of equality is that even if everyone agreed, in principle, to an ethic of equality, or Rawls's "maximin" solution, you still have the problem of defining what equality means.  Equality of what?  What dimensions? How can we say that a monk who chooses to live alone on a starvation diet isn't equal to billionaire Warren Buffet in terms of what each one wants to achieve and be in life. Is an otherwise well-to-do woman who freely chooses to have her clitoris circumcised, as many East African immigrant women do, really equal to a European woman of the same economic conditions who chooses to have an abortion, and why or why not?

The dimension problem of equality is why Amartya Sen responds to Rawls by arguing that only by seeking freedom, which includes both individual "freedom from" as well as social "freedom to," can equality really be sought after as a social goal.  For that reason, I think Sen's thesis is more applicable to ET than Rawls's.

by santiago on Sun Oct 3rd, 2010 at 07:15:44 PM EST
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