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Richard H. Tawney on Equality - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 420
Equality/Tawney/Weinstein: Tawney's 'higher' socialism both mimics Hobson's 'liberal socialism' and anticipates contemporary egalitarian liberalisms like Dworkin's. >Equality/Dworkin.
Although his theorizing lacks Dworkin's rigour, it likewise begins with our common dignity and regards liberty and equality as compatible (Tawney, 1964(1): 46—7).
Liberty/Tawney: Liberty and equality are fully commensurate, especially where greater economic equality protects all citizens from undue economic coercion. Greater economic equality is 'essential' to greater liberty (1964(1): 168). Tawney thus follows new liberals m insisting that extreme economic inequalities are no less constraining than physical threats. In the 1952 edition of Equality, Tawney clarifies why liberty and equality are compatible. He insists that political liberties are more 'fundamental' than 'secondary' economic liberties. Hence, while redis- tributive justice plainly compromises the freedom to acquire and exchange property (a 'secondary' liberty), it enhances political liberties by making them more than merely nominal for the poor. In short, greater economic equality frees us by opening our political 'range of alternatives' and fortifies our 'capacity' to choose between them. Liberty and equality 'can live as friends' (1964(1): 227—9).


1. Tawney, R. H. (1964 119521) Equality. London: Unwin.

Weinstein, David 2004. „English Political Theory in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Tawney, Richard H.
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004


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