Andersson, Emil | 2022
This paper considers the view that the basis of equality isthe range property of being a moral person. This view,suggested by John Rawls in hisA Theory of Justice(1971),is commonly dismissed in the literature. By defending theview against the criticism levelled against it, I aim to showthat this dismissal has been too quick. The critics havegenerally failed to fully appreciate the fact that Rawls’saccount is restricted to the domain of distributive justice.On Rawls’s view distributive justice is a matter of the fairterms of cooperation among the participants of a systemof social cooperation. I argue that this understanding ofdistributive justice can provide a compelling rationale forconsidering moral personality as the basis of equality forthis domain of morality. That moral persons are indeedequal is further supported by an intuitive argument con-cerning the irrelevance of morally arbitrary factors, givingus reasons to believe that varying capacities among moralpersons does not result in an unequal moral status. Thedismissal of Rawls’s account of equality has thus been pre-mature, and it remains an important view to consider.