College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

4: A load-bearing idea: the work of human equality

The fourth in Professor Waldron's series of lectures "One Another's Equals: The Basis of Human Equality" focuses on the work that a functioning concept of basic equality needs to do.

Lecture abstract

Defending basic equality is not just a matter of ‘coming up with’ some suitably shaped property that all humans share. The description must be relevant to the work that basic equality has to do. That work is comprehensive and foundational, across all aspects of morality.

So the property in question — the basis of basic equality — must approach momentous significance. Or, if we eschew the idea of an inference from a descriptive property, our normative or constructive determination simply to recognize one another as equals needs to be motivated in a particularly powerful way.

Lecture video