Democracy and equality

Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):416–438 (2007)
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Many writers claim that democratic government rests on a principled commitment to the ideal of political equality. The ideal of political equality holds that political institutions ought to be arranged so that they distribute political standing equally to all citizens. I reject this common view. I argue that the ideal of political equality, under its most plausible characterizations, lacks independent justificatory force. By casting doubt on the ideal of political equality, I provide indirect support for the claim that democratic government is only instrumentally justified



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Stephen Wall
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

References found in this work

What is the point of equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
Political legitimacy and democracy.Allen Buchanan - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):689-719.
Egalitarianism and equal availability of political influence.Harry Brighouse - 1996 - Journal of Political Philosophy 4 (2):118–141.
Knowledge and power in the justification of democracy.Thomas Christiano - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):197 – 215.

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