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Title: What is discrimination and when is it wrong?
Author: Eidelson, Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0003 6799 3222
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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I Nearly everyone agrees that discrimination is sometimes morally wrong. But despite the breadth of consensus on this point, there is remarkably little agreement about what makes something an instance of discrimination, or about what makes an instance of discrimination wrong when it is. I propose that discrimination is differential treatment that has a particular kind of explanatory connection to the agent's differential ascription of some property to the discriminatees, and I identify two things that are sometimes wrong with it. First, in paradigm cases of wrongful discrimination, the act manifests disrespect for the standing as persons of those who are discriminated against. It does this because it stems from a failure to recognize either their equal value, and the presumptive claim to equal consideration this entails, or their standing as autonomous individuals, that is, as part authors of their own lives. In such cases, discrimination is wrong irrespective of both its effects and its social meaning. Second, much discrimination is morally objectionable simply on account of its contingent consequences. It is bad, that is, because it does unjustified harm, or brings about distributions that are unfair. I offer an account of the moral case against racial profiling in law enforcement as an example of how we should think about this second sort of wrongful discrimination.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available