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But we can understand Descartes’ premise of equality far more basically and radically, not as an assertion of fact, but as a presuppositional act: equality is a supposition we must make in advance. For it has nothing to do with the socially acquired capacity of reason (in which we are unequal, and about which we disagree). Equality pertains to a presupposition of reason. It does not refer to a capacity of reason that we possess, but to the potential for practical training in reason, for its acquisition. In that and that alone—in this potential—are we equal. Equality is an equality of potential. So the “most important emancipation of all” is not at all “the emancipation of all differences originating in and determined by performance from the differences created and transmitted by subjugation, domination, and privilege”…

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