The Illusions of Egalitarianism

Cornell University Press, 2003 - 228 páginas

In this systematic and scathing attack on the dominant contemporary version of liberalism, John Kekes challenges political assumptions shared by the majority of people in Western societies. Egalitarianism, as it's widely known, holds that a government ought to treat all citizens with equal consideration. Kekes charges that belief in egalitarianism rests on illusions that prevent people from facing unpleasant truths.

Kekes, a major voice in modern political thought, argues that differences among human beings in the areas of morality, reasonability, legality, and citizenship are too important for governance to ignore. In a rigorous criticism of prominent egalitarian thinkers, including Dworkin, Nagel, Nussbaum, Rawls, Raz, and Singer, Kekes charges that their views present a serious threat to both morality and reason.

For Kekes, certain "inegalitarian truths" are obvious: people should get what they deserve, those who are good and those who are evil should not be treated as if they had the same moral worth, people should not be denied what they have earned in order to benefit those who have not earned it, and individuals should be held responsible for their actions. His provocative book will compel many readers to question their faith in liberalism.


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The Inconsistency of Aims
The Denial of Responsibility
The Corruption of Justice
The Groundlessness of Egalitarianism
The Myth of Equality
The Tyranny of DoGooders
The Menace of Moralism
The Ideology of Freedom
The Burden of DoubleMindedness
The Rhetoric of Toleration
The Politics of Fairy Tales
The Illusions of Egalitarianism
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Sobre o autor (2003)

John Kekes is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York, Albany. He is the author of eleven previous books, most recently Pluralism in Philosophy: Changing the Subject and The Art of Life, both from Cornell.

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