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This article addresses those 3 concerns: what's discrimination? What makes it wrong?; What can be performed approximately wrongful discrimination? It argues that there are varied strategies of discrimination; that discrimination isn't regularly morally incorrect and that once it's, it's so basically as a result of its damaging effects.
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Additional info for Born free and equal? : a philosophical inquiry into the nature of discrimination
Of course, if someone treated everyone exactly as he ought to treat them, he would, let us suppose, treat people differently. But barring a cosmic coincidence, his differential treatment would not be suitably explained by the differential group-membership of different individuals, but rather by their individual desert-levels, in which case it would not qualify as discrimination. If it were, 60 Cf. ” p. 159. 36 Born Free and Equal? 61 This completes my account of when a group is socially salient, which—just to recap—it is, if perceived membership of it is important to the structure of social interactions across a wide range of social contexts.
Obviously more needs to be said about what determines the relevance of act-types. 44 Compare Cavanagh (2002), Against Equality of Opportunity, p. 164. 45 Compare Narveson (1993), Moral Matters, p. 251. 43 What Is Discrimination? 46 To say that something is “discriminatory” does not logically commit one to any particular moral evaluation of that thing. Of course, this is consistent with group discrimination always being immoral and with group discrimination always being prima facie morally wrong given the social world in which we live.
45 Moreover, (v) allows us to say that racially biased, differential treatment in our love lives constitutes discrimination, if, as seems likely, it involves humiliating messages of inferiority. Finally, (v) explains the case of the single discriminatory act against a Protestant applicant, since it is true not only that such acts, if sufficiently common, would be harmful to Protestants, but also that the act in our example is motivated by animosity, a belief that Protestants are inferior, or a belief that Catholics and Protestants should not intermingle.