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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 17, 2015

Does Discrimination Require Disadvantage?

  • Oscar Horta EMAIL logo


In standard cases of discrimination the interests of the discriminatees are considered comparatively worse than those of others. Accordingly, discrimination is often defined as some form of differential consideration or treatment which, among other features, entails a disadvantage for discriminatees. There are some apparent forms of nonstandard discrimination, however, in which it seems that this need not occur. This paper examines three of them: epistemic discrimination, discrimination against entities unable to be harmed by it and nonhierarchical segregation. If, as it seems, these really are forms of discrimination that means standard definitions may fail or must be reinterpreted. There is a way to account for the mentioned nonstandard forms of discrimination by claiming that all forms of worse consideration or treatment can be considered discriminatory. This, however, entails interpreting the term “worse” in a very broad manner, and some may not find this solution intuitive. Despite this, the paper will argue that alternative accounts entail more serious problems.

Funding statement: Funding: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Grant/Award Number: ‘FFI 2012-31209, 2013–2015’).


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Published Online: 2015-07-17
Published in Print: 2015-11-01

©2015 by De Gruyter

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