n South African Law Journal - Justice, diversity and racial preference : a critique of affirmative action




Whereas affirmative action has been much debated in countries such as the United States, there has been very little debate about it in South Africa. In this paper the author distinguishes different senses of the term 'affirmative action' and argues that affirmative action is morally wrong in all but one of these. He distinguishes two broad kinds of arguments typically advanced in favour of affirmative action - rectification arguments and consequentialist ones - and he examines varieties of each of these kinds of arguments. He argues that they fail to justify any of the controversial forms of affirmative action. Having argued that defences of affirmative action fail, he advances some positive arguments against the practice.


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