- (written as Egalitarianism)The political doctrine that ascribes high ethical significance to various types of social equality, for example in relation to the terms of access to health care, the equal meeting of equal needs, or the achievement of an equal distribution of outcomes. It is a common feature of Christian, communist, human rights, Kantian and socialist ethics, and is embodied in the United States constitution. Most concepts of equality are in conflict with one another (e.g. to obtain greater equality of health usually involves greater inequality in the use of health care). It also tends to be the case that moves towards greater equality of something involve the violation of other moral principles, for example, violation of one's 'natural rights'. Note: equality is not necessarily the same as equity.
- noun the political theory that all members of society have equal rights and should have equal treatment