Equality--the battle cry of the French Revolution--has come to be accepted as everyone's birthright today. But what is equality? Is it a chimera in a world manifestly still abounding in inequality among individuals, nations, and races? To this eternally fascinating subject, eighteen outstanding political scientists, jurists, and philosophers address themselves with vigor and profundity in this important and illuminating work.

Part I deals with fundamental concepts of equality. The first paper in this section explores such issues as the meaning, the justification, and the dialectics of equality, wherein some of its manifestations are confronted and limited by others. While the second paper criticizes the first essay and examines the legal aspects of equality. Another paper pursues the notion of proportionate equality to what he views as its ultimate reality: that of a purely formal logical concept, while another argues that "egalitarianism" has reference to human interests, which in fact give it content. Another viewpoint considers how far different kinds of equality are compatible with one another and with the enlargement of freedom and fraternity in industrial society. The final paper in this section talks widely over basic issues raised by the various interpretations of equality.

Part II deals with sources of beliefs about equality. The papers in this section consider the implications for egalitarianism of Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. The final essay in this section surveys the treatment of and implications for egalitarianism in the thinking of the existentialists.

Part III is concerned with the political and legal applications of equality. One of the papers suggests that Tocqueville's "providential fact of the gradual development of the principle of equality" might possibly be on the eve of a reversal, and concludes with justification of political equality. Another attacks the notion of equality of opportunity, contending that it is not an authentic expression of the democratic ideal and temper, which requires instead an "affirmation of being and belonging." Following that the highly topical problem of equality in the administration of justice is discussed as well as, the deals with many subtle distinctions involved in the application of the idea of equality to the rule of law. The book concludes with the topic of treatments of the problem of equality in the realm of international politics and organization.

part |111 pages

Concepts of Equality

chapter 1|25 pages

Egalitarianism and the Idea of Equality

ByHugo Adam Bedau

chapter 2|10 pages

A Lawyers Look at Egalitarianism and Equality

ByNorman Dorsen

chapter 3|23 pages

Equality and Generalization, a Formal Analysis

ByRichard E. Flathman

chapter 4|18 pages

Egalitarianism and the Equal Consideration of Interests

ByStanley I. Benn

chapter 5|20 pages

Diversity of Rights and Kinds of Equality

ByJohn Plamenatz

chapter 6|13 pages

Equality and What we Mean by It

ByGeorge E. G. Catlin

part |101 pages

Egalitarian Implications and Consequences of Belief Systems

chapter 7|19 pages

Christianity and Equality

BySanford A. Lakoff

chapter 8|20 pages

Hierarchy, Equality, and Consent in Medieval Christian Thought

ByPaul E. Sigmund

chapter 9|23 pages

Judaism and Equality

ByEmanuel Rackman

chapter 10|16 pages

Individuality and Equality in Hinduism

ByA. H. Somjee

chapter 11|21 pages

Equality in Existentialism

ByHerbert Spiegelberg

part |99 pages

Political and Legal Equality

chapter 12|11 pages

A Brief Discourse on the Origin of Political Equality

ByCarl J. Friedrich

chapter 13|22 pages

Equality of Opportunity, and Beyond

ByJohn H. Schaar

chapter 14|11 pages

Equality in the Administration of Criminal Justice

ByMonroe H. Freedman

chapter 15|16 pages

Notes on the Rule of Equal Law

ByGeoffrey Marshall

chapter 16|11 pages

Equality, Democracy, and International Law

ByD. D. Raphael

chapter 17|18 pages

Equality of States Within the United Nations

ByRobert W. Gregg

chapter 18|8 pages

Equality and Inequality of States in the United Nations

ByThomas M. Franck