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By W. von Leyden
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Additional resources for Aristotle on Equality and Justice: His Political Argument
He considers that in order to be fully descriptive, these phrases have to be employed in connection with propositions asserting matters of fact under either one or the other of the categories. If interpreted in this way, the concept of equality acquires a considerably wider meaning than that which we have encountered in Aristotle's attempt to equalise builders with shoemakers on the social plane, or in Russell's merely logical analysis of the relationship of equality between quantities. One might say, for example, that Hobbes and Locke are equally famous as philosophers, that the sounds of an oboe and a flute are equally pleasing to the ear, that two geographical places are equally suitable as sites for new airports, that John and Mary are equally in love, and that Smith and Henderson are equally active in politics.
Much' is defmed by him as 'so much and more'; 3 it thus means the same as the term 'magnitude', which Russell defmes as 'anything which is greater or less than something else'. 4 This capacity for being greater or less, however, must not be associated, as it is by Aristotle, with the meaning of equality. As Russell explains, 'what can be greater or less than some term, can never be equal to any term whatever, and vice versa'. On his view, the kind of terms that can be equal are quantities, while the kind that can be greater or less are magnitudes.
33 It follows that equality and inequality, on his own showing, must each have several meanings. And since, in his view, 34 being and unity have as many meanings as there are categories, and since neither is employed within any one of the categories exclusively, the equal and the unequal should likewise have as many senses as there are categories, without answering to any one category to the exclusion of another. However, Aristotle does not make these two points more explicit, except that he often mentions equality together with likeness and sameness, drawing the same conclusions about the former as about the two latter.
Aristotle on Equality and Justice: His Political Argument by W. von Leyden