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  1. added 2020-03-25
    Race as a Factor in University Admissions.Stephen Kershnar - 2007 - Law and Philosophy 26 (5):437-463.
    In two recent cases, Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306. and Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244., the Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause permitted state schools to use race-sensitive admissions in order to obtain the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body. The diversity-based argument for race-sensitive admissions, scholarships, awards, and other opportunities at universities should have been rejected because it does not consider the full range of costs and benefits and because the more narrow (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-25
    Experiential Diversity and Grutter.Stephen Kershnar - 2003 - Public Affairs Quarterly 17 (2):159-170.
    In Grutter, preferential treatment was held to be Constitutional on the basis of the contribution of “diverse” students to the education of their classmates. An implicit assumption in this argument, at least given how schools such as Michigan have interpreted it, is that the contribution involves making it more likely that the other students adopt the beliefs (or perspective) of the minorities. Three beliefs seem relevant here: justice is concerned with equality, racial and ethnic minorities are currently treated unequally, and (...)
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  3. added 2020-03-25
    Strong Affirmative Action Programs and Disproportionate Burdens.S. Kershnar - 1999 - Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (2):201-209.
    Affirmative action programs are not justified by compensatory justice. They place a disproportionate burden on white-male applicants. White-male applicants do not owe compensation because they committed a relevant wrongdoing or because they benefitted from another’s wrongdoing. They did not commit a relevant wrongdoing. Receipt of an unjust benefit, when unavoidable and mixed with hard work, does not justify a duty to compensate a victim of the injustice. Thus, the compensatory-justice argument for affirmative action fails.
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  4. added 2020-03-24
    Justice for the Past.Stephen Kershnar - 2004 - State University of New York Press.
    Among the most controversial issues in the United States is the question of whether public or private agencies should adopt preferential treatment programs or be required to pay reparations for slavery. Using a carefully reasoned philosophical approach, Stephen Kershnar argues that programs such as affirmative action and calls for slavery reparations are unjust for three reasons. First, the state has a duty to direct resources to hose persons who, through their abilities, will benefit most from them. Second, he argues that, (...)
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  5. added 2020-03-24
    The Inheritance-Based Claim to Reparations.Stephen Kershnar - 2002 - Legal Theory 8 (2):243-267.
    Slavery harmed the slaves but not their descendants since slavery brought about their existence. The descendants gain the slaves’ claims via inheritance. However, collecting the inheritance-based claim runs into a number of difficulties. First, every descendant usually has no more than a portion of the slave’s claim because the claim is often divided over generations. Second, there are epistemic difficulties involving the ownership of the claim since it is unlikely that a descendant of a slave several generations removed would have (...)
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  6. added 2020-03-24
    Are the Descendants of Slaves Owed Compensation for Slavery?Stephen Kershnar - 1999 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 16 (1):95–101.
    The compensatory‐justice justification of affirmative action requires a comparison of the actual world in which the injured person lives with a relevantly similar possible world in which this person lives but where the unjust injuring act never occurred, in order to identify the degree of harm brought about by the unjust injurious act. The problem is that some unjust injuring acts, particularly acts of slavery, led to intercourse and the later creation of the ancestors of many members of minority groups. (...)
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  7. added 2020-03-24
    Uncertain Damages to Racial Minorities and Strong Affirmative Action.Stephen Kershnar - 1999 - Public Affairs Quarterly 13 (1):83-98.
    We should adopt the following principle with regard to compensatory justice. (1) If an unjust act benefits an innocent person and there is no reasonable way to assess the amount of damages to the victim, then compensatory justice does not require that the innocent beneficiary pay compensation for those damages. We cannot reasonably assess the amount of damages to current racial minorities that have resulted from past discriminatory acts. Problems arise in determining the identity of the injured parties, the identity (...)
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  8. added 2020-03-24
    Strong Affirmative Action Programs at State Educational Institutions Cannot Be Justified Via Compensatory Justice.Stephen Kershnar - 1997 - Public Affairs Quarterly 11 (4):345-363.
    In the context of state educational institutions, young white males are owed a duty to respect their interest or desert tokens. Not all white males have waived this duty since many white males have not performed the relevant types of culpable wrongdoing. Merely having benefitted from an unjust injury act or being a member of a community that owe a debt of compensation to racial minorities and women are not sufficient grounds to override the duty owed to the white male. (...)
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  9. added 2018-02-19
    Uncertainty in Hiring Does Not Justify Affirmative Action.Thomas Mulligan - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1299-1311.
    Luc Bovens has recently advanced a novel argument for affirmative action, grounded in the plausible idea that it is hard for an employer to evaluate the qualifications of candidates from underrepresented groups. Bovens claims that this provides a profit-maximizing employer with reason to shortlist prima facie less-qualified candidates from underrepresented groups. In this paper, I illuminate three flaws in Bovens’s argument. First, it suffers from model error: A rational employer does not incur costs to scrutinize candidates when it knows their (...)
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