Thomas Christiano Equality Summary

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Thomas Christiano in “Equality” attempts to defend the view that in order for people to treated as equals it must follow from accepting the Principle Equality. He defends the view that in order to accept democracy as a method for decision making, it must follow from the acceptance of this principle of equality, and that when this principle is properly understood and applied it will be the democratic process. His central argument is how to justify democracy as a method of rule, and he does this by giving an intrinsic defense for the democratic decision process by appealing to the principles of equality. An intrinsic account of democracy relies on the idea that democracy is good in itself as it provides equal political status to everyone, independent of…show more content…
If Christiano succeeded in his argument he would have provided a legitimate intrinsic defense that in order for people to be treated equally it must rely on democratic decision making, regardless of the results produced. In “Equality” he argues that an undemocratic government could not defend its existence by appealing to the principle of equality, even if this society was more equal in the way it distributed goods in society. I will argue his understanding of the principle of equality of equality though resources, as an intrinsic defense of democracy does not succeed, and instead argue that a stronger defense of democracy relies on its instrumental value, which regards its value in respect to the consequences it produces. First I will show that his epistemic argument of understanding the principle of equality, as equality of resources is inadequate. Next I will provide a stronger defense of the principle of equality as being understood as equality of wellbeing, and that the concept of wellbeing does not require being chosen democratically. Understanding the principle of equality should rely on equality through wellbeing, which implies that everyone’s interests should be equally advanced and made equally

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