The Epistemic Commitments of Nondiscrimination

25 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2018

See all articles by Deborah Hellman

Deborah Hellman

University of Virginia - School of Law

Date Written: October 26, 2018

Abstract

A commitment to nondiscrimination at times appears to require both that one not act in particular ways and that one not believe certain things. This is potentially troubling if one ought to believe what one has warrant to believe, and to the extent that one can take actions that affect what one comes to believe, one ought to do so with the aim of acquiring true beliefs. This article argues that current social controversies – like the debate over the memo by the Google employee which claimed that women are less suited for careers in technology fields – demonstrate that some defenders of norms of nondiscrimination understand these norms as including epistemic commitments. The article articulates what these epistemic commitments are, explores whether they can themselves be epistemically justified and, if not, situates the popular controversy in a philosophical debate about whether moral considerations properly encroach on epistemic norms.

Keywords: discrimination, moral encroachment on epistemic norms

Suggested Citation

Hellman, Deborah, The Epistemic Commitments of Nondiscrimination (October 26, 2018). Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2018-60. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3273582

Deborah Hellman (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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