Fraternity and Equality
Cupit, G. (2013). Fraternity and equality. Philosophy, 88(2), 299-311.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7617
Is there a connection between the values of fraternity and outcome equality? Is inequality at odds with fraternity? There are reasons to doubt that it is. First, fraternity requires us to want our ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ to fare well even when they are already better off than we are and their doing better will increase inequality. Second, fraternity seems not to require equality as a matter of fairness. Fairness requires (a certain) equality, but fraternity does not require fairness. In examining what fraternity requires I discuss Rawls' suggestion that the difference principle corresponds to a natural meaning of fraternity, arguing that fraternity may be even more tolerant of inequality than the difference principle. Nevertheless, I defend the claim that fraternity and equality are linked, albeit not in such a way as to make inequality inconsistent with fraternity. Fraternity is related to equality since equalizing expresses the connectedness at the core of fraternity; but inequality is consistent with fraternity since there are other ways of expressing that connectedness.