Parity: An Intuitive Case

Ruth Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In other work I have argued that items can be on a par, where being on a par is a fourth, basic, sui generis value relation beyond the usual trichotomy of ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’. In this paper, I aim to marshal non-technical, intuitive arguments for this view. First, I try to cast doubt on the leading source of intuitive resistance to parity, the conviction that if two items are comparable, one must be better than the other, worse than it, or they must be equally good. Second, I explain how parity can arise by appealing to an uncontroversial distinction between quantity and quality of value. I propose both sufficient conditions for parity and a nontechnical model of the notion. My overall aim is to bring into view a simple and intuitive picture of value – and more generally of normativity – in which parity plays a significant role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-411
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'Parity: An Intuitive Case'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this