What is the proper role of politics in higher education? Many policies and reforms in the academy, from affirmative action and a multicultural curriculum to racial and sexual harassment codes and movements to change pedagogical styles, seek justice for oppressed groups in society. They understand justice to require a comprehensive equality of membership: individuals belonging to different groups should have equal access to educational opportunities; their interests and cultures should be taken equally seriously as worthy subjects of study, their persons (...) treated with equal respect and concern in communicative interaction. Conservative critics of these egalitarian movements represent them as dangerous political meddling into the disinterested pursuit of knowledge. They cast the pursuit of equality as a threat to freedom of speech and academic standards. In response, some radical advocates of such programs agree that the quest for equality clashes with free speech, but view this as an argument for sacrificing freedom of speech. (shrink)
It is predicted that the rapid acquisition of new genetic knowledge and related applications during the next decade will have significant implications for virtually all members of society. Currently, most people get exposed to information about genes and genetics only through stories publicized in the media. We sought to understand how individuals in the general population used and understood the concepts of ???genetics??? and ???genes.??? During in-depth one-on-one telephone interviews with adults in the United States, we asked questions exploring their (...) basic understanding of these terms, as well as their belief as to the location of genes in the human body. A wide range of responses was received. Despite conversational familiarity with genetic terminology, many noted frustration or were hesitant when trying to answer these questions. In addition, some responses reflected a lack of understanding about basic genetic science that may have significant implications for broader public education measures in genetic literacy, genetic counseling, public health practices, and even routine health care. (shrink)
The premise of this symposium is that the principle and ideal developed in Brown v. Board of Education2 and its successor cases lie at the heart of the rationale for affirmative action in higher education. The principle of the school desegregation cases is that racial segregation is an injustice that demands remediation. The ideal of the school desegregation cases is that racial integration is a positive good, without which “the dream of one Nation, indivisible”3 cannot be realized. Both the principle (...) and the ideal make racial integration a compelling interest. The Supreme Court recognized these claims in Grutter v. Bollinger. However, it failed to take full advantage of them. It thereby failed to answer crucial questions that must be answered by policies subject to strict scrutiny. In this essay, I shall display the links tying Grutter to Brown, discuss the vulnerabilities of Grut- ter in the absence of an explicit grounding in Brown, and demonstrate how the affirmative action policy upheld in Grutter, when explicitly grounded in Brown, survives strict scrutiny. To understand this argument, it is helpful first to explain the integrationist perspective that underlies it. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism continues to serve as a rich source of moral and theoretical insight. This collection of articles by top scholars offers fresh interpretations of Mill's ideas about happiness, moral obligation, justice, and rights. Applying contemporary philosophical insights, the articles challenge the conventional readings of Mill, and, in the process, contribute to a deeper understanding of utilitarian theory as well as the complexity of moral life.
En este trabajo se plantea que la soberanía del consumidor descansa sobre un conjunto de confusiones conceptuales, de presupuestos empíricamente falsos y de afirmaciones normativamente dudosas. La sección 1 muestra cómo estas confusiones conceptuales enmascaran una ambigüedad fundamental en el principio de la soberanía del consumidor, entre la promoción del bienestar y la autonomía. Sostengo que los mejores argumentos a favor de la soberanía del consumidor favorecen la interpretación de la autonomía. La sección 2 muestra cómo la concepción individualista de (...) la autonomía favorecida por los economistas no puede dar cuenta de los problemas de acción colectiva generados por la conformidad externa a las normas sociales. La sección 3 muestra cómo el intento de un economista por desarrollar una concepción de la autonomía adecuada a esta tarea nos lleva más allá del marco individualista de la economía neoclásica a una concepción colectiva de la autonomía. La sección 4 demuestra que el concepto de autonomía colectiva es coherente y que el proyecto institucional de los Estados democráticos puede ser considerado como un intento para lograrlo. La sección 5 plantea que cuando los individuos expresan preferencias autónomas diferentes en y para diferentes escenarios, el principio de la soberanía del consumidor es inherentemente ineficiente. La sección 6 sostiene que el principio dc soberanía del consumidor está en conflicto con la autonomía de los ciudadanos y, por lo tanto, no puede servir como una base coherente para guiar la política del Estado. (shrink)
McLachlan and Swales dispute my arguments against commercial surrogatemotherhood. In reply, I argue that commercial surrogate contractsobjectionably commodify children because they regardparental rights over children not as trusts, to be allocated in the bestinterests of the child, but as like property rights, to be allocatedat the will o the parents. They also express disrespect for mothers, bycompromising their inalienable right to act in the best interest of theirchildren, when this interest calls for mothers to assert a custody rightin their children.