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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 21, 2015

Discrimination: Classification and Moral Assessment

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Assigning something to the category “discrimination” is not tantamount to saying that it is wrong, but the assignment is disquieting. Conversely, when conduct is classified as non-discriminatory, one weighty ground to be on the guard is set aside. So we should not talk flippantly about discrimination, but do our best to place moral assessment on the proper pitch. There are two ways of drawing a line between discriminatory and non-discriminatory conduct because there are two competing ways of spelling out a crucial characteristic of discrimination. Whichever way we do it, “discrimination” is a category that cannot be defined with precision. In view of this, discrimination is best conceived as a graded property of action – one which is always, to some extent, part of the picture when someone is treated worse than others.


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Published Online: 2015-05-21
Published in Print: 2015-11-01

©2015 by De Gruyter

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