Questions about the ethics of affirmative action have been frequently
discussed for over 25 years. Advocates point to the value of undoing
the impact of injustice and diversifying American institutions
at all levels. Critics point to the value of a color-blind, sex-blind
society. A series of Supreme Court decisions supported various
kinds of affirmative action, but others have limited or opposed
it. The issues are complex. Competent moral philosophers reach
very different conclusions. If we view the issues as legal or
constitutional questions, the same division occurs. Intelligent,
well-informed people differ; and sometimes express their views
with great passion.
Developing a reasoned view on the ethics of affirmative action
requires carefully considering a network of concepts, issues,
and arguments. Ariadne offers one path through that network. The
path takes the form of a dialogue among six speakers. You can
click BEGIN HERE to go to the introduction to the dialogue, or
choose one of the other options below.
Remember, this is a complex issue. Ariadne's Thread is only a guide to some of its pathways. As always, the arguments on Ariadne have their own limitations of perspective. Several of the books in the bibliography are anthologies that include moral arguments on different sides of the issues. Some take perspectives that are not well represented in Ariadne's text. You may find them useful in developing your views.
Your ideas are welcome. Anyone using this site can send their
reactions to Ariadne by email. You can also submit arguments and
counter-arguments (or comments on existing arguments) for inclusion
in the text. If you do submit an argument or comment, please suggest
where you think it would best fit into the existing text. All
submissions will be reviewed. If accepted, the name of the author
will be acknowledged in the text.
Click here to go to Ariadne's home page.