Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry


"Within academia, affirmative action is an integral part of the appointment process. While equal opportunity for all candidates is widely recognized as a goal, the implementation of specific procedures to achieve equality has resulted in vehement disputes regarding both means and ends. Recently, however, as Steven Cahn observes, the affirmative action controversy has turned into an uneasy truce in which proponents and opponents "refrain from public debate while still whispering in corners [about] their adversaries."" "To encourage a reexamination of this issue, Cahn asked three prominent American social philosophers - Leslie Pickering Francis, Robert L. Simon, and Lawrence C. Becker - who hold divergent views about affirmative action, to write extended essays presenting their views. In Part I of Affirmative Action and the University, Francis writes in favor of the policy; Simon makes a case against it; and Becker proposes a compromise plan as a way out of the impasse. Cahn asked numerous other philosophers to respond to these three principal essays. In Part II, twenty-two philosophers grapple with the views presented by Francis, Simon, and Becker. While no consensus is reached, the resulting clash of reasoned judgments will serve to revitalize the issues raised by affirmative action." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Robert L. Simon
  • Lawrence C. Becker
  • Laurence Thomas
  • Ann Hartle
  • Robert G. Turnbull
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Philadelphia
Publication year:
  • 1993


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