Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 823–825 | Cite as

Harry G. Frankfurt, On Inequality. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2015

  • Lisa Herzog

This book – or booklet, with 100 pages of large print – has not been written for an academic audience. While we should cherish the fact that philosophers write for a broader audience, in this case the merits are decidedly mixed. While its style is vivid and elegant, the book’s arguments are incomplete, some are set up against strawmen, and many are technically correct, but hardly relevant to today’s social and political circumstances. Frankfurt ignores essential pieces of scholarship, which makes him a poor ambassador for philosophy in the public sphere. And he seems oblivious to the way in which his book might be used by political actors who pursue policies that are diametrically opposed to what he claims to want. For philosophers who have followed Frankfurt’s writings, his arguments are not new; portions of them have been published in papers in 1987 (“Equality as a Moral Ideal”, Ethics 98(1), 21–43) and 1997 (“Equality and Respect”, Social Research64(1), 3–15). Since then, the...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cluster “Normative Orders” and Institut für SozialforschungFrankfurt am MainGermany

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