Eva Oggionni

Egalitarianism and the Grounding of Morals: Ernst Tugendhat's Presumption of Equality

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Tugendhat, Egalitarianism, Anti-Egalitarianism, Equality, Grounding of Morals.

The paper enquires into the ethical meaning of equality. It interprets some major theses by Ernst Tugendhat and it defends egalitarianism from its most important criticism. The following objections are discussed: the levelling down and the byproduct objection, and the claims that egalitarianism does neither recognize nor respect the plurality of Western values and the moral principles of dignity and autonomy. These arguments are traced back to four misinterpretations of egalitarianism itself. Indeed, Tugendhat's position both escapes and successfully tackles the aforementioned criticism. Thanks to his peculiar presumption of equality, Tugendhat's egalitarianism is in fact different from the egalitarian positions their opponents describe. Eventually, the paper argues that an egalitarian grounding of morals can solve the problems that anti-egalitarians see within egalitarian theories of justice.

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