Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1305399
 
 

Footnotes (126)



 


 



Diversity v. Colorblindness


Patrick S. Shin


Suffolk University Law School

November 24, 2008

Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 08-40
Brigham Young University Law Review, Vol. 2009

Abstract:     
There seems to be broad social consensus that racial diversity is generally a good thing. Disagreements tend to focus on the constraints we should observe in bringing such diversity about. Evaluating the justification of such constraints requires understanding the kind of good that racial diversity is supposed to constitute. In this article, I draw on concepts familiar from philosophical discussions in value theory to analyze the value of racial diversity on the one hand and that of colorblindness on the other. Using several opinions from Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 to stake out some of the central positions, I argue first that the value of racial diversity is conditional or extrinsic, not intrinsic, but that we have both instrumental and non-instrumental reasons to regard it as something worth caring about. I further argue that the constraint of colorblindness is, strictly speaking, orthogonal to the value of racial diversity, because what colorblindness opposes is selecting for diversity, not diversity itself. The two values come into opposition, of course, in circumstances where such selection is the only feasible way of bringing diversity about. I consider the case for adhering to the constraint of colorblindness in such circumstances. I contend that the strongest positive argument for a deontological conception of colorblindness - viz., that it expresses a constitutional principle of equal respect - is obsolete. I further suggest that the strongest negative argument - viz., that selecting for diversity expresses disrespect for persons - ignores the possibility that such selection measures, when adopted in response to unjust social conditions, might more plausibly be regarded as an expression of a commitment to substantive principles of equality.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 59

Keywords: diversity, colorblindness, value, race, equality, affirmative action

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: November 24, 2008 ; Last revised: March 26, 2009

Suggested Citation

Shin, Patrick S., Diversity v. Colorblindness (November 24, 2008). Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 08-40; Brigham Young University Law Review, Vol. 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1305399

Contact Information

Patrick S. Shin (Contact Author)
Suffolk University Law School ( email )
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States
617-573-8182 (Phone)
617-305-3090 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 882
Downloads: 91
Download Rank: 167,294
Footnotes:  126

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.203 seconds