Volume 16
Issue S
Fall '18

Wrongful Racial Discrimination in Moral Analysis: Some Recent Accounts, an Alternative Conception, and Attempts to Extend Theoretical Models

Written By: J.L.A. Garcia


In this article, I propose an analysis of a discrimination claim in general, in its canonical form, and argue from that analysis that invidious (i.e., wrongful) racial discrimination is best understood as racist discrimination, by which I mean discriminatory behavior relevantly tainted by someone’s racist attitudes. From there, I proceed to elaborate the analysis more fully by defending its focus on mental states, contrasting it with alternative accounts offered by Scanlon, Lippert-Rasmussen, Arneson, and Wasserman, and showing its various advantages over each of those analyses. My last section indicates limits to efforts to extend the concept of wrongful discrimination, on the political Left, so as to delegitimize opposition to same-sex marriage and, on the Right, to condemn as discriminatory restrictions on certain actions by individuals motivated by their religious conviction that homosexual acts are immoral.

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