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Liberté ou égalité?

  • Duclos, Jean-Yves

    (Département d’économique)

What is freedom? What is equality? In which way can greater equality increase freedom? Such are the main questions which this paper tries to answer. The problem of the choice between freedom and equality indeed raises the problem of the definition of these two objects. Once this definition is clarified, it appears that, under certain conceptions of freedom and equality, it is not necessary or useful to choose between these two objects: they become complementary rather than substitutes. Equality can indeed reinforce both the real and the moral freedom of individuals, and thus contribute to the well-being of all. The paper also deals with some difficulties in measuring equality, and how these difficulties can affect the comparison of equality through time and space. Qu’est-ce que la liberté ? Qu’est-ce que l’égalité ? En quoi une plus grande égalité peut-elle accroître la liberté ? Telles sont les questions principales auxquelles tente de répondre cet article. Le problème du choix entre liberté et égalité soulève en effet le problème de la définition de ces deux objets. Une fois cette définition clarifiée, il ressort que, sous certaines conceptions de la liberté et de l’égalité, il n’est pas nécessaire ou utile de choisir entre ces deux objets : ils deviennent alors complémentaires plutôt que substituts. L’égalité peut en effet renforcer à la fois la liberté réelle et la liberté morale des individus, et ainsi contribuer au bien-être de tous. L’article traite aussi des difficultés de mesure de l’égalité, et en quoi ces difficultés peuvent affecter la comparaison de l’égalité à travers le temps et l’espace.

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Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité économique.

Volume (Year): 82 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (décembre)
Pages: 441-476

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Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:82:y:2006:i:4:p:441-476
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