The Public Interest

The rights of nature and the death of God

Joel Schwartz

Fall 1989

AT LEAST SINCE Aristotle, justice has been understood to require that equals be treated equally, and therefore to apply to those who were equal or at least could plausibly claim some measure of equality. The historical progress of liberalism can be measured by the increasing success of different kinds of people in making this claim; slaves have demanded equality with masters, commoners with aristocrats, Jews with Christians, blacks with whites, and women with men.

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