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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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The Nature of Moral Disagreement

The Nature of Moral Disagreement

Conflicting Ideals?

Chapter:
(p.23) Three The Nature of Moral Disagreement
Source:
Living with Moral Disagreement
Author(s):

Michele S. Moses

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226344416.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the nature of moral disagreement in general and about affirmative action in particular. It examines how the ideals of equality and liberty may conflict, as well as the related ideal of diversity, in an effort to understand the moral and political roots of education policy disagreements. It makes the case that understanding the nature of moral disagreement enriches the discussion of specific policy controversies that have implications for equity and social justice. In order to clarify the terms of moral disagreement, affirmative action is used as a case study to examine how the broad political theories of justice that dominate the debate–egalitarian political theory and libertarian political theory–interpret the moral ideals of equality and liberty. The most prominent rationales for affirmative action policy also are examined, as examples of how the dominant political theories play out in justifying affirmative action.

Keywords:   moral disagreement, equality, liberty, diversity, Egalitarians, Libertarians, race egalitarianism, color blindness

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