David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Philosophy and Policy 8 (2):108 (1991)
Affirmative action programs remain controversial, I suspect, partly because the familiar arguments for and against them start from significantly different moral perspectives. Thus I want to step back for a while from the details of debate about particular programs and give attention to the moral viewpoints presupposed in different types of argument. My aim, more specifically, is to compare the “messages” expressed when affirmative action is defended from different moral perspectives. Exclusively forward-looking arguments, I suggest, tend to express the wrong message, but this is also true of exclusively backward-looking arguments. However, a moral outlook that focuses on cross-temporal narrative values suggests a more appropriate account of what affirmative action should try to express. Assessment of the message, admittedly, is only one aspect of a complex issue, but it is a relatively neglected one. My discussion takes for granted some common-sense ideas about the communicative function of action, and so I begin with these. Actions, as the saying goes, often speak louder than words. There are times, too, when only actions can effectively communicate the message we want to convey and times when giving a message is a central part of the purpose of action. What our actions say to others depends largely, though not entirely, upon our avowed reasons for acting; and this is a matter for reflective decision, not something we discover later by looking back at what we did and its effects. The decision is important because “the same act” can have very different consequences, depending upon how we choose to justify it
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
George Hull (2015). Affirmative Action and the Choice of Amends. Philosophia 43 (1):113-134.
Lukas H. Meyer (2006). Reparations and Symbolic Restitution. Journal of Social Philosophy 37 (3):406–422.
Similar books and articles
Louis P. Pojman (1998). The Case Against Affirmative Action. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (1):97-115.
Engelbert Ssekasozi (1999). A Philosophical Defense of Affirmative Action. Edwin Mellen Press.
Leo Groarke (1990). Affirmative Action as a Form of Restitution. Journal of Business Ethics 9 (3):207 - 213.
Prue Burns & Jan Schapper (2008). The Ethical Case for Affirmative Action. Journal of Business Ethics 83 (3):369 - 379.
Bill E. Lawson (2011). Sterba on Affirmative Action, or, It Never Was the Bus, It Was Us! Journal of Ethics 15 (3):281-290.
Richard A. Jones (2004). Affirmative Inaction? The Aftermath of Grutter and Gratz. Radical Philosophy Review 7 (2):179-193.
Paula Chegwidden & Wendy R. Katz (1983). American and Canadian Perspectives on Affirmative Action: A Response to the Fraser Institute. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 2 (3):191 - 202.
Steven N. Durlauf (2008). Affirmative Action, Meritocracy, and Efficiency. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (2):131-158.
Anita L. Allen (2011). Was I Entitled or Should I Apologize? Affirmative Action Going Forward. Journal of Ethics 15 (3):253-263.
Bill Shaw (1988). Affirmative Action: An Ethical Evaluation. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 7 (10):763 - 770.
George Carwe (2000). Affirmative Action in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Social Philosophy Today 16:77-94.
Stephen W. Ball (2005). Carl Cohen and James P. Sterba, Affirmative Action and Racial Preference: A Debate:Affirmative Action and Racial Preference: A Debate. Ethics 116 (1):226-228.
Added to index2010-08-31
Total downloads105 ( #35,124 of 1,790,117 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #63,760 of 1,790,117 )
How can I increase my downloads?