Legal Theory 21 (2):100-114 (2015)

Tom Parr
University of Essex
In Born Free and Equal: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Nature of Discrimination, Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen defends the harm-based account of the wrongness of discrimination, which explains the wrongness of discrimination with reference to the harmfulness of discriminatory acts. Against this view, we offer two objections. The conditions objection states that the harm-based account implausibly fails to recognize that harmless discrimination can be wrong. The explanation objection states that the harm-based account fails adequately to identify all of the wrong-making properties of discriminatory acts. We argue that the structure of a satisfactory view cannot be outcome-focused. A more promising family of views focuses on the deliberation of the discriminator and in particular on the reasons that motivate or fail to motivate her action.
Keywords discrimination  harmless wrongdoing
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DOI 10.1017/s1352325215000130
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