A Sense of Proportion: some thoughts on equality, security and justice
Res publica (Liverpool)
Proportionality, Equality, Security, Ripstein, Racial profiling
This article develops an intuitive idea of proportionality as a placeholder for a substantive conception of equality, and contrasts it with Ripstein’s ideas, as presented in an annual guest lecture to the Society of Applied Philosophy, in 2016. It uses a discussion of racial profiling to illustrate the conceptual and normative differences between the two. The brief conclusion spells out my concern that talk of ‘proportionality’, though often helpful and, sometimes, necessary for moral reasoning, can end up concealing, rather than illuminating, people’s claims to be treated as equals.