Regarding Equality

Regarding Equality : Rethinking Contemporary Theories of Citizenship, Freedom and the Limits of Moral Pluralism

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Regarding Equality offers an innovative and controversial analysis of the relationship between equality and pluralism. Tackling an issue central to modern political thought, Freeberg highlights the struggle to characterize citizens as equals while respecting their moral, religious, and cultural diversity. The work ably contrasts and critiques the prevailing models for balancing equality with pluralism from thinkers Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, John Rawls, Amy Gutmann, Dennis Thompson, Michael Oakeshott, and Drucilla Cornell. From these liberal, democratic, and conservative approaches to equality and pluralism, Freeberg builds a theory of responsive regard: reciprocal civility between citizens that forms a chastened conception of what we share as free and equal persons. This work will greatly add to political theorists' and philosophers' arsenals of concepts for egalitarian and democratic theory.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 156 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.5 x 10.2mm | 249.48g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 0739101552
  • 9780739101551

Review quote

An intelligent and insightful analysis of the complex relations between pluralism and equality. This book will prove helpful to anyone interested in contemporary political theory. -- Patrick Neal, University of Vermont Regarding Equality is a wide-ranging, insightful account of contemporary political theories that seek to accommodate moral pluralism while advancing the values of freedom, fairness, and equality... By building on Oakeshott's theories, Freeberg ultimately and forcefully defends a view of freedom centered on the human capacity for agency and on a political ethic aimed at protecting that capacity. -- Peter Digeser, University of California, Santa Barbara Ellen Freeberg negotiates the difficult terrain of equality arguments with skill and precision. Poised between the conflicting approaches of traditional liberals and strong equality advocates, Freeberg's book seeks a conception of equality that would avoid the twin pitfalls of abstract universalism and moral perfectionism. Regarding Equality provides not only a clear account of the stakes involved in these competing positions but also a plausible alternative to them. -- Linda M. G. Zerilli, Northwestern University Ellen Freeberg thoroughly investigates and explains the role of equality in political theory and practice, exploring its implications within liberalism and beyond. She is committed to far more than a survey of 'equality theory:" she unearths the foundations upon which the concept depends. -- Kennan Ferguson, University of South Florida Freeberg's book is a fine contribution to the current debate on the relationship between equality and moral pluralism. Ethics: An International Journal of Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy Regarding Equality is that rarest of accomplishments, an original work of political theory. -- Philip Green, The New School University
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About Ellen M. Freeberg

Ellen Freeberg teaches in the Graduate Faculty at New School University.
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Table of contents

Chapter 1 Strong Equality Chapter 2 Liberal Equality Chapter 3 Democratic Equality Chapter 4 Strong Pluralism and Moral Incommensurability Chapter 5 Agency and Equal Regard Chapter 6 Toward Responsive Regard
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