HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 36 no. 1 (2007)

Equality of What? Why Liberty?

Diego Iii A. Odchimar

Discipline: Philosophy, Political Science



Justice is about political ideals on how to accommodate differences that are natural among basically heterogeneous human beings. In many ways, justice is remarkably complicated because of the alleged conflict between the demands of equality and the concern that people should have as much liberty available. The author argues in this essay that the ideal of equality and liberty can be reconciled into the liberal ideal of fairness. This compromise view accounts as a justification for coercive institutions and obligations and a tenable basis for a practical definition of rights and justice in general. The author does this by going through the philosophical presuppositions of the different theories of justice. His examination focuses on rendering analytic clarity to the ideal of equality, liberty, and the value of community.