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By Steven M. Cahn

ISBN-10: 1439901112

ISBN-13: 9781439901113

ISBN-10: 1566390303

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ISBN-10: 156639399X

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Additional info for Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry

Sample text

46 It may take several years to find a tenure track job, and six or seven years more on the tenure track before a tenure decision is made. Academics thus find it difficult to become securely established before their later childbearing years. Time on the tenure track, even for the fortunate, too often coincides with painful decisions by those in their late thirties about whether to undertake the commitments of becoming a parent or to remain childless. To be sure, these dilemmas also exist in other professions such as law and medicine.

It is also preferable where possible to utilize means that spread costs diffusely rather than imposing significant disappointments on particular individuals-for example, to add new academic positions rather than to reserve an already-shrunken set of academic opportunities for a particular group. Although this comment is speculative, these accommodationist strategies may also be less likely to cause people to resent and discount those who are successful under affirmative action programs. CONCLUSION My principal aim in this essay has been to argue that affirmative action is justified as a corrective for discriminatory processes.

Different abilities are relevant to these different purposes. Race or sex may be closely linked with these abilities; forcing departments to take race or sex into account may be the only means we have to open up consideration of these abilities. Recognizing the value choices involved, and making them in one way or another, does not discount candidates as those whose abilities matter in the world. Rather, it recognizes that different abilities may matter for differerLt purposes, even within the university, and that candidates with these different abilities may be similarly deserving.

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Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry by Steven M. Cahn


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