2022 年 71 巻 p. 233-247
The idea of basic equality is the foundation of our society today. However, the claim that all humans are equal is a strange one, considering that there are many differences among humans in terms of age, appearance, birth, physical and intellectual abilities, economic power, and actual behavior and achievements. What exactly is the basis of human equality? This paper clarifies the basis of our equality as moral persons. Since the equality in question is equality as moral persons, it seems to be based on the equal capacity for moral personality. However, the problem arises that the capacity for moral personality admits differences of degree. There are people with high moral capacity and people with low moral capacity. This would mean that there are higher and lower moral persons among humans according to the difference in the degree of their abilities, and thus all humans are not equal. One innovative argument against this problem was presented by I. Carter. According to Carter, we must evaluate and treat each person equally, not in terms of scalar property, which each person possesses to different degrees, but in terms of range property, which each person possesses equally. We must respect the dignity of each person, and this means that we must conceal their scalar property and treat them as opaque, that is, show “opacity respect” toward them. However, Carter’s argument does not make it clear enough why we must treat each person as opaque. To clarify this point, this paper argues that it is we ourselves, not others, who conceal scalar property. We can flexibly form our self-respect according to our ideals and aspirations. This flexibility in self-respect allows us to have self-respect as equal moral persons with range property, so that we make ourselves opaque in order to protect our appearance as equal moral persons. Therefore, we should treat each person equally in terms of range property.