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Living with Moral DisagreementThe Enduring Controversy about Affirmative Action$
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Michele S. Moses

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226344249

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226344416.001.0001

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“Who Isn’t for Equality?”

“Who Isn’t for Equality?”

Chapter:
(p.1) One “Who Isn’t for Equality?”
Source:
Living with Moral Disagreement
Author(s):

Michele S. Moses

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226344416.003.0001

This chapter provides the background and context that frame the book. It comes at a moment in United States history defined by the first Black president, as well as by discussions of whether race still matters in public life, and a shift in the debates over how best to address issues of equality of educational opportunity–equity-focused policies or achievement-focused policies. Within this sociopolitical context, the disagreement about affirmative action in higher education admissions continues, most significantly through state ballot initiatives and court challenges. The chapter explains the author’s primary method of philosophical inquiry, which contributes to scholarship in education by clarifying arguments and analyzing just how policies like affirmative action and concepts like equality are related. Although such questions and their analyses do not submit themselves easily to measurement, they challenge empirical researchers to think in new and careful ways about what the important questions are around race-conscious policies and how and what can be effectively measured and analyzed. In this way, philosophy and theory building serve as important companions to empirical analyses and rationales for race-consciousness in education, by examining less tangible factors like moral values and ideals that are part of the foundation of policy debates.

Keywords:   affirmative action, higher education, admissions, equal opportunities, democracy

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