The badness of discrimination

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (2):167 - 185 (2006)
Abstract
The most blatant forms of discrimination are morally outrageous and very obviously so; but the nature and boundaries of discrimination are more controversial, and it is not clear whether all forms of discrimination are morally bad; nor is it clear why objectionable cases of discrimination are bad. In this paper I address these issues. First, I offer a taxonomy of discrimination. I then argue that discrimination is bad, when it is, because it harms people. Finally, I criticize a rival, disrespect-based account according to which discrimination is bad regardless of whether it causes harm.
Keywords cognitive discrimination  direct versus indirect discrimination  discrimination  harm  hierarchical versus non-hierarchical discrimination  moral status  racism  (dis)respect  sexism  valuation versus non-valuation-based discrimination
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