Discounting Women’s Applications when Hiring

Philosophia 48 (1):227-260 (2020)
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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that philosophy departments at state universities may discount women’s applications. My argument rests on two premises: if the balance of merit-based reasons supports discounting one group relative to a second, then a state institution may discount the first group’s application and the balance of merit-based reasons supports philosophy departments at state universities discounting women’s applications relative to men’s applications.The latter premise was supported by three assumptions. First, if discounting the applications of one group relative to a second is supported by at merit-based reasons and not opposed by an equally strong merit-based reasons, then discounting that group’s applications is supported by a balance of merit-based reasons. Second, discounting the application of women relative to men is supported by a merit-based reason or reasons. Third, discounting the application of women relative to men is not opposed by an equally strong merit-based reason or reasons.

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Stephen Kershnar
Fredonia State University

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