PHIL 57.001 – FYS: Race and Affirmative Action
Instructor: Bernard Boxill. This course meets TR 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in CW 103.
Affirmative Action is practiced in many countries around the world and is a very controversial issue. People disagree over who should be its beneficiaries and they disagree over whether it can be justified. Some insist that justice requires it; others insist that justice condemns it. Still others endorse or oppose it on grounds other than its justice. For example, some argue that it is the best way to deal fairly with and take advantage of the increasing diversity of contemporary societies; but some worry that it can only lead to enmity, to strive, to a fall in overall utility, and to a fall in the standards of excellence. We will consider the best and most philosophically interesting arguments for these various positions. Naturally we will also spend some time examining the moral theories including the theories of justice that these arguments rely on.