Digital Archive Post #3: Equality vs. Equity

Is there a difference between equality and equity? Is equity fair even though different proportions are given to certain individuals? Equality is the meaning of treating everyone the same and in a state of being equal. Equity is defined as providing individuals with resources or opportunities they need in order to be equal to those around them, therefore some people may receive more resources than others.

Equality and Equity

I then come to question: Why is there inequality in proportionality? In Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, Book 5, he attempts to understand justice as a characteristic of society. In Chapter 10 he discusses the difference between equality and equity by equality meaning justice and defining equity as something better than equality because it corrects justice. Equity provides more resources to those who are deserving and in need of them rather than providing an equal amount of resources to the more fortunate and less fortunate. For example, a scenario from Winston-Salem University illustrates the concept of equity. The University expresses how financial aid money is reserved for low-income students and “although unequal, this is considered equitable because it is necessary to provide access to higher education for low-income students.” Without equity, there would be no justice for individuals who are of different social classes or affected by the systemic racism within our society.

Taught by Plato, who learned from Socrates, we see many similarities between the Greek philosophers. Aristotle expresses his views on justice similar to that of Plato’s The Republic. Both philosophers assert justice as wisdom and virtue over power or monetary value. In both books, they communicate a need for a more systematic idea of justice among the people and a redistribution of power among the wealthy authority.

Equity and Equality Explained



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