Equality and Diversity: Value Incommensurability and the Politics of Recognition

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    There are two central premises of this book; that the values worth promoting across communities, including those associated with promoting equality and diversity, are often conflicting and incommensurable or incomparable; and individuals in these communities are agents who have lives which reflect commitments to incommensurable 'valued objects' both between individuals and groups and across an individual's life. My main argument is that this type of value conflict and incommensurability, is philosophically defensible and, with some elaboration, helps make plausible the normative claims associated with the political slogan that 'differences should be celebrated'. This slogan, endorsed, amongst others, by those within contemporary social movements, to be sure, is a political gambit to protect what might be termed the 'identity interests' of the marginalised and disadvantaged, but I argue can be understood philosophically in so far as it reflects the incommensurability of promoting the values of both equality and diversity. Following this understanding, I defend my other main normative claim, that through various social and political policies and practices, we should encourage and engage in reciprocal or mutually beneficial relations with equal others, but recognising we also often lead incomparably different lives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherPolicy Press
    Number of pages208
    ISBN (Print)9781847426079
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2011


    • equality
    • diversity
    • values
    • conflict
    • disability
    • multiculturalism
    • recogniton politics


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