College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

2: "Everyone to count for one" — the logic of basic equality

The second in Professor Waldron's series of lectures "One Another's Equals: The Basis of Human Equality" will examine the difference between basic equality and normative positions based upon it.

Lecture abstract

First we will distinguish basic equality from various normative positions — both egalitarian and non-egalitarian — that are built up on it.

Then we will seek to make sense of Jeremy Bentham’s maxim. That maxim, ‘Everyone to count for one’, is tantalizingly close to tautological: for what exactly does ‘no one [counts] for more than one’ rule out? And is basic equality just a negative position, denying significance to certain kinds of descriptive inequality? Or is it an affirmative position based on the positive significance of certain descriptive properties?

Lecture video