Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong with Affirmative Action

By Steven Yates | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The World according to Affirmative Action

It Didn't Start with Affirmative Action

By now, many readers probably are wondering: How on earth did our country get into this mess?! We can now examine this question in some detail. There is good reason to conclude that affirmative action is just the latest battle in a centuries-long conflict between two visions of human social reality and human possibilities.

Affirmative action is a product of what Thomas Sowell calls an unconstrained vision of human moral and social possibilities, a vision "in which man was capable of directly feeling other people's needs as more important than his own, and therefore of consistently acting impartially, even when his own interests or those of his family were involved." 1 According to this vision, the egocentric predicament has resulted from particular social and economic arrangements and thus is not an essential or permanent feature of the human condition. A society can transcend the egocentric predicament by changing its social and political institutions.

In contrast, the constrained vision of human possibilities accepts the existence of a self-interested human nature and takes the egocentric predicament as a given. It recommends policies and procedures that innovate within broad parameters and, in so doing, attempt to maximize social benefits, but that recognize that

-95-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong with Affirmative Action
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 250

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?