Seminar 2015

Condition of Equality

John Macmurray on Equality, Freedom and Common Humanity

To assert human equality is not to say that two or more people are equivalent for this purpose or for that, in one respect or in another. It is not to say that they are equally clever, or equally strong, or equally good. Personal equality does not ignore the natural differences between individuals, nor their functional differences of capacity. It overrides them. It means that any two human beings, whatever their individual differences, can recognize and treat one another as equal, and so be friends. The alternative is a relation between an inferior and a superior; and such a relation excludes friendship. It is a relation of master and servant. ‘Conditions of Freedom’, 1949