Is Discrimination Harmful?

American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):293-300 (2024)
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Abstract

According to a prominent view, discrimination is wrong, when it is, because it makes people worse off. In this paper, I argue that this harm-based account runs into trouble because it cannot point to a harm, without making controversial metaphysical commitments, in cases of discrimination in which the discriminatory act kills the discriminatee. That is, the harm-based account suffers from a problem of death. I then show that the two main alternative accounts of the wrongness of discrimination—the mental-state-based account and the objective-meaning account—do not run into this problem.

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Andreas Bengtson
Aarhus University

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2024-03-18

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