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Affirmative Action

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Jade Elias


There are many supporters and opponents of Affirmative Action. The focus of this program is to include minorities and women into social institutions. An argument that the author presents for Affirmative Action is that of the 'merit principal', which states that people should be awarded for possessing

the highest merit. In turn he states that race and sex can be a merith because it will allow others of that sex or race to stive for greatness as well. The author also presents the argument of 'cultural pluralism', which states that positive benefits come form having varieties in cultural experiences.

An argument

presented against Affirmative action is that often times people of a certain race or sex aren't as qualified as white males for the same positions. An additional argument

to cultural pluralism is that it excludes white males. It seems that in order for one group to benefit another must be disadvantaged. This disadvantage the author calls a reverse discrimination. The argument

presented for justifying the occurrence

of such is the principle of reparations and compensation.

Compensation states that since white men benefited from the exclusion of blacks and women they should now bear the burden. The reparations argument

states that racial minorities (blacks) and women are entitled to preferential treatment because their rights have been violated. These argument

s are difficult to put into practice because it bring certain difficult issues into light. For example, who is black, who should benefit, who should be burdened.

Justification for Affirmative Action is that it is said to be for the greater good of society, this is an utilitarian outllook.

The author additionally brings up that Affirmative action takes away a groups self respect because it gives them something they are not entilted to, and that they wont be able to compete successfully with others who have received benefits with out preference. He dismisses both these views, the first by stating that Affirmative Action is just and so if something is just loss of self respect isn't warranted.



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