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    what is an egalitarian society? what kinds of social factors/characteristics are linked to egalitarianism? what are some examples of egalitarian societies discussed in chapter 9? how would our social relationships be different if we were part of an egalitarian society? 200 own words


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    Egalitarianism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


    First published Fri Aug 16, 2002; substantive revision Wed Apr 24, 2013

    Egalitarianism is a trend of thought in political philosophy. An egalitarian favors equality of some sort: People should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals, in some respect. An alternative view expands on this last-mentioned option: People should be treated as equals, should treat one another as equals, should relate as equals, or enjoy an equality of social status of some sort. Egalitarian doctrines tend to rest on a background idea that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status. So far as the Western European and Anglo-American philosophical tradition is concerned, one significant source of this thought is the Christian notion that God loves all human souls equally. Egalitarianism is a protean doctrine, because there are several different types of equality, or ways in which people might be treated the same, or might relate as equals, that might be thought desirable. In modern democratic societies, the term “egalitarian” is often used to refer to a position that favors, for any of a wide array of reasons, a greater degree of equality of income and wealth across persons than currently exists.

    1. Preliminary Distinctions

    2. Equality of Opportunity

    3. Equality of Condition: Equality of What?

    3.1 Lockean Rights

    3.2 Karl Marx on Equal Rights

    3.3 Income and Wealth

    3.4 Capabilities 3.5 Resources

    3.6 Welfare and Opportunity for Welfare

    3.7 Conclusion: A Test Case

    4. Relational Equality

    5. Equality among Whom?

    6. Is Equality Desirable Per Se? Alternatives to Egalitarianism

    6.1 Sufficiency 6.2 Priority 6.3 Desert 6.4 Other Views

    8. Equal Fundamental Human Worth

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    1. Preliminary Distinctions

    Egalitarianism is a contested concept in social and political thought. One might care about human equality in many ways, for many reasons. As currently used, the label “egalitarian” does not necessarily indicate that the doctrine so called holds that it is desirable that people's condition be made the same in any respect or that people ought to be treated the same in any respect. An egalitarian might rather be one who maintains that people ought to be treated as equals—as possessing equal fundamental worth and dignity and as equally morally considerable. In this sense, a sample non-egalitarian would be one who believes that people born into a higher social caste, or a favored race or ethnicity, or with an above-average stock of traits deemed desirable, ought somehow to count for more than others in calculations that determine what morally ought to be done. (On the thought that the core egalitarian ideal is treating people as equals, see Dworkin 2000.) Further norms of equality of condition or treatment might be viewed as free-standing or derived from the claim of equality of status. Controversy also swirls around attempts to specify the class of beings to whom egalitarian norms apply. Some might count all and only human beings as entitled to equality of status. Some would hold that all and only persons have equal moral status, with the criteria of personhood excluding some humans from qualifying (e.g., the unborn fetus or severely demented adult human) and including some nonhumans (e.g., intelligent beings inhabiting regions of outer space beyond Earth). Some would hold that sentient beings such as nonhuman primates that do not satisfy criteria of personhood are entitled to equal moral status along with persons. Some advance other views.

    Egalitarianism can be instrumental or non-instrumental. Given a specification of some aspect of people's condition or mode of treating them that should be equal, one might hold that the state of affairs in which the stated equality obtains is morally valuable either as an end or as a means. The instrumental egalitarian values equality as a means to some independently specifiable goal; the non-instrumental egalitarian values equality for its own sake—as an end, or as partly constitutive of some end. For example, someone who believes that the maintenance of equality across a group of people fosters relations of solidarity and community among them, and is desirable for that reason, qualifies as an instrumental egalitarian. Someone who believes that equality of some sort is a component of justice, and morally required as such, would be a non-instrumental egalitarian.

    Equality of any sort might be valued conditionally or unconditionally. One values equality in the former way if equality is deemed valuable only if some further condition is in place. One might hold that equality in the distribution of resources among a group of persons is valuable, but only on the condition that the individuals are equally deserving.

    Equality might be deemed to be desirable or undesirable. A separate and distinct range of questions concerns whether or not people ought to act to bring about equality or are obligated to bring about equality (see Nagel 1991). The discussion to come often merges these questions, the assumption being that if equality is valuable, that is at least one good reason for thinking one should bring it about.

    For those who regard equality as a requirement of justice, the question arises, whether this is a timeless unchanging or instead a variable requirement. Michael Walzer is one who appears to take the latter view. According to Walzer, a society is just if and only if its practices and institutions are in accord with the shared values and cultural understandings of its people. Democratic egalitarianism becomes a requirement of justice in modern societies, because this egalitarianism is an underlying important element of people's shared values and cultural understandings (Walzer 1983). But this appearance may be misleading. Walzer may hold that everyone at all times and places has an equal moral entitlement to be treated according to the shared norms and cultural understandings of one's people or group. Walzer may also hold that everyone at all times and places has equal rights against gratuitous assault by people just seeking fun, whatever the local people's shared beliefs on this matter happen to be. At any rate, we can identify clear exemplars of theorists who regard equality of a certain sort as a timeless unchanging moral requirement. John Locke holds that everyone at all times and places has equal natural moral rights that all of us ought always to respect (Locke 1690). The contemporary moral philosopher Thomas Scanlon holds that all people everywhere equally have the moral right to be treated according to the outcome of a procedure: what constitutes morally right and wrong action is set by the principles that no one could reasonably reject (Scanlon 1998). It is a further question, to what extent this procedure issues in different non-rejectable principles in different times and places featuring different circumstances.

    Source : plato.stanford.edu

    (PDF) Different Types of Egalitarian Societies and the Development of Inequality in Early Mesopotamia

    PDF | There is no single form that equality takes in past societies. Some societies, horizontal egalitarian systems, manifest absence of hierarchy, but... | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate

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    Different Types of Egalitarian Societies and the Development of Inequality in Early Mesopotamia

    June 2007World Archaeology 39(2):151-176


    Authors: M. Frangipane

    Accademia dei Lincei and Fondazione Roma Sapienza University of Rome

    Abstract and Figures

    There is no single form that equality takes in past societies. Some societies, horizontal egalitarian systems, manifest absence of hierarchy, but in other societies (vertical egalitarian systems) privileged status coexists with substantial equality. A detailed comparison of the Halaf culture of northern Mesopotamia and eastern Anatolia with the Samarra and Ubaid cultures of central and southern Mesopotamia, examining settlement pattern, economy and burial customs, reveals the ways the vectors of egalitarianism in these two contrasting systems and enables key variables determining the nature and distribution of equality to be distinguished.

    The Near East with the main sites mentioned in the text. The three areas of Halaf, Samarra and Ubaid cultures are indicated with di ff erent shades of grey.

    Dwellings and settlements of the Halaf culture: a – various types of tholoi from Arpachiyah, C ̧ avi Tarlasi and Sabi Abyad; b – plan of Yarim Tepe II, level V (from Breniquet 1996: pl. 36); c – plan of Sabi Abyad, level 3 (from Akkermans 1993: fig. 3.12).

    Below: the store building complexes of the Early Pottery Neolithic at Sabi Abyad (level 6) (from Verhoeven and Kranendonk, fig. 2.7, in Akkermans 1996). The di ff erent shading of grey indicates the varying concentrations of cretulae in the rooms, with darker tone representing the higher quantities. Above: some iconographic groups of seal designs recognized from the cretulae found in these buildings (drawings selected from Duistermaat 1996: figs 5.3 and 5.4).

    Halaf administrative objects: a – various shapes of seals (selected from von Wickede 1990: ns. 200, 190, 166, 171, 147, 161, 150, 156, 164); b – an ovoid hanging cretula and the seal applied on it (from von Wickede 1990: ns. 54 and 57).

    … +1

    Houses and settlement of the Samarra and early Ubaid cultures (sixth millennium BC ): a –

    Figures - uploaded by M. FrangipaneAuthor content

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    Source : www.researchgate.net

    Egalitarianism Definition

    Egalitarianism is a philosophical perspective that emphasizes equality across gender, religion, economic status, and political beliefs.




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    By WILL KENTON Updated March 17, 2022

    Reviewed by ROBERT C. KELLY

    What Is Egalitarianism?

    Egalitarianism is a philosophical perspective that emphasizes equality and equal treatment across gender, religion, economic status, and political beliefs. Egalitarianism may focus on income inequality and distribution, which are ideas that influenced the development of various economic and political systems. Egalitarianism also looks at how individuals are treated under the law.

    Karl Marx used egalitarianism as the starting point in the creation of his Marxist philosophy and John Locke considered egalitarianism when he proposed that individuals had natural rights.


    Egalitarianism is a philosophy based on equality, namely that all people are equal and deserve equal treatment in all things.

    As an idea, it can be looked at in terms of its implications for individuals in both an economic and legal capacity.

    Economic egalitarianism, which argues that all should have access to wealth, is the basis for both Marxism and socialism.

    Legal egalitarianism says that everyone must follow the same laws, with no special legal protections for one over another.

    Many countries in the world have aspects of egalitarianism woven into the fabric of their societies.

    Understanding Egalitarianism

    One of the main tenets of egalitarianism is that all people are fundamentally equal. Everyone should be treated equally and have equal opportunities and access in society, no matter their gender, race, or religion.

    Egalitarianism can be examined from a social perspective that considers ways to reduce economic inequalities or a political perspective that considers ways to ensure the equal treatment and rights of diverse groups of people.

    Types of Egalitarianism

    Philosophers break down egalitarianism into several types.

    Economic egalitarianism

    Proponents of economic egalitarianism or material egalitarianism believe every member of society should have equal access to wealth and the ability to make money, whether that be through investments, entrepreneurial efforts, or income from employment, and that this should translate into everyone having similar levels of income and money. This line of thinking forms the basis for Marxism and socialism.

    Starting a business can be attempted by anyone and represents an opportunity to make money. The entrepreneur will typically seek financing and invest the capital in a business enterprise. Customers, meanwhile, have an equal opportunity to buy the company's products or services. They have an equal choice to respond to the company's prices and quality of goods or services to make an informed decision about a purchase.

    A few things limit economic egalitarianism in a free market society. Money supply, inflation, lack of jobs, and consumer prices may limit economic activity for people who lack wealth. Legal constraints also affect economic egalitarianism.

    Economic egalitarianism in a free market is the belief that everyone should have an equal opportunity to become wealthy by investing in and supporting entrepreneurship and employment.

    Legal egalitarianism

    Legal egalitarianism is the principle that everyone is subject to the same laws, meaning no group has unique legal protections over another.

    Moral egalitarianism

    Moral egalitarianism is the idea that all human beings must have equal respect and concern for everyone else. It is the idea that humanity is connected and that everyone deserves human rights. Of course, the definition of equal respect or fairness may vary and depend on individuals, making it hard to enforce true egalitarianism.

    Political egalitarianism

    People who believe in political egalitarianism espouse democracy, demanding that every person has equal standing concerning governmental power.

    Political egalitarianism posits that each individual has the same social power or influence over politics in work, government, and daily life. For example, principals have the authority over their teachers and staff to make choices for the school and grade. However, under political egalitarianism, every educator at the school would have the same level of authority and power.

    Racial egalitarianism

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