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AbstractThis essay is an inquiry into the fundamentals of contemporary liberalism. I defend the following claim: the premises of contemporary liberal theory cannot avoid referring to the ideal of equality of individuals in some way. equality is a principle to organize the fundamental level of the theory from which to derive the principles for organizing liberal institutions. To support these claims, I distinguish justificatory from perfectionist liberalism, and then look into some of the most relevant theories of contemporary political philosophy that provide the ethical basis for contemporary liberalism.