Arguing Affirmative Action: Lesson 2

Affirmative Action for Whites?

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Translate this: ”If you accept the diversity rationale for affirmative action,” then you must accept the diversity rationale for an apartment complex that seeks an integrated community. True or False?
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Translate this: “If diversity serves the common good, and if no one is discriminated against based on hatred or contempt, then racial preferences do not violate anyone’s rights” (178). Is this right?
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Can Justice be Detached from Moral Desert

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“And yet it may not be possible, politically or philosophically, to detach arguments about justice from debates about desert as decisively as Rawls and Dworkin suggest (179).

Sandel offers two reasons why detaching justice from moral desert can be problematic.

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Translate this: ”Debates about ______ justice are about not only who gets what but also what qualities are worthy of ________ and ________ “ (179).
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“These institutions are defined, at least in part, by the distinctive goods they promote” (179).

Translate this: ”Certain goods are appropriate to certain social institutions, and to ignore these goods in allocating roles can be a kind of ___________
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Why not Auction College Admission?

Translate this: True or False. To auction a seat in college admissions would be fair if merit “simply means the ability to contribute, in one way or another, to the mission of the university” (182).
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Translate this: Using Dworkin’s reply to Hopwood, would he have to allow applicants, applicants who score lower than others, from wealthy royal Arab families who pledge millions for new libraries
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Translate this: ”All fairness requires is that no one be _________ out of ________ or _________, and that applicants be judged by criteria related to the ________ the university sets for itself” (182).
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“The students who lose out aren’t the victims of prejudice; it’s just their bad luck to lack parents willing and able to donate a new library” (182).

Translate this: What kind of admit is this? ”Applicants who are not children of alumni but who have wealthy parents able to make a sizeable financial contribution to the school” (181).
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Translate this: Is the injustice in seat selling due to the fact that poor/middle class students are at a disadvantage beyond their control?
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“The affirmative action debate reflects competing notions of what colleges are for: To what extent should they pursue scholarly excellence, to what extent civic goods, and how should these purposes be balanced?” (182).

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Translate this: Because civic and scholarly goods is the “primary reason for being” of a university, selling seats for admission would violate a university’s telos. Is this true?
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“Tying debates about justice to arguments about honor, virtue, and the meaning of goods may seem a recipe for hopeless disagreement…So it is tempting to seek a basis for justice and rights that keeps its distance from those controversies” (183).

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Translate this: ”The philosophies of ______ and ______ are bold attempts to find a basis for justice and rights that is neutral with respect to competing visions of the good life”(183).
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Review

Translate this: Affirmative action is ultimately a question of what the purpose of a university is. The telos of a university isn’t agreed upon by many. What are the two main types of telos of a university?
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