The Journal of Ethics 5 (3):241-262 (2001)

Andrew Altman
Georgia State University
For several decades, Ronald Dworkinhas been one of the most prominent voicesdefending the legality and justifiability ofrace-conscious programs aimed at undoing thecontinuing effects of prejudice. Writingwithin the framework of a liberal legalphilosophy, he has formulated powerfularguments against the view that color-blindpolicies are the only defensible ones. Nonetheless, I argue that a more completeliberal defense of race-conscious policieswould need to develop and modify Dworkin's lineof argument. Such a defense would go beyondhis policy-based arguments and incorporatearguments of principle. Race-conscious policiesdo not only promote the general good; they arealso required in order to help realize theconstitutional right of equal citizenship.
Keywords affirmative action  civil rights  equal protection clause  incrementalism  liberalism  racism  social science
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/a:1012759302085
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