David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics 119 (3):476-506 (2009)
My paper addresses a topic--the implications of Rawls's justice as fairness for affirmative action--that has received remarkably little attention from Rawls's major interpreters. The only extended treatments of it that are in print are over a quarter-century old, and they bear scarcely any relationship to Rawls's own nonideal theorizing. Following Christine Korsgaard's lead, I work through the implications of Rawls's nonideal theory and show what it entails for affirmative action: viz. that under nonideal conditions, aggressive forms of formal equality of opportunity (e.g., sensitivity training, outreach efforts, external monitoring and enforcement) and compensating support (e.g., special fellowship programs, childcare facilities, mentoring, co-op opportunities, etc.) can be justified, but that "hard" and even "soft" quotas are difficult to defend under any conditions. I conclude the paper by exploring the implications of these surprising results for contemporary liberalism more broadly and for constitutional law and public policy.
|Keywords||affirmative action John Rawls|
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Citations of this work BETA
M. Victoria Costa (2009). Rawls on Liberty and Domination. Res Publica 15 (4):397--413.
Ryan Reed (2013). Are the Kids Alright? Rawls, Adoption, and Gay Parents. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (5):969-982.
M. Victoria Costa (2009). Rawls on Liberty and Domination. Res Publica 15 (4):397-413.
Juan Espindola & Moises Vaca (2014). The Problem of Historical Rectification for Rawlsian Theory. Res Publica 20 (3):227-243.
Mark Winston (2014). Diversity: An Ethical Question with Competing Rationales. Journal of Information Ethics 23 (1):83-100.
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