Aarhus University Seal


Is discrimination wrong because it is undeserved?

New publication by Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen in Inquiry, An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy

(copy 33)

doi.org/10.1080/0020174X.2023.2186947 (behind paywall)


Several leading theorists embrace the Simple Desert Account of Discrimination. This account involves two claims: it claims that a mismatch between what people deserve, on the one hand, and what they get, on the other hand, is (a) integral to discrimination, and (b) wrong. I shall query (a). First, I challenge what I see as the principal, positive argument for the Simple Desert Account. Second, in some cases wrongful discrimination brings about a better match between desert and what people get. Situations in which this could be the case include those where: the discriminatee is a serial discriminator herself; the person wrongfully discriminated in favour of deserves greater advantages than she enjoys; by engaging in wrongful discrimination the discriminator reduces her moral deservingness and thereby the gap between her level of deservingness and her otherwise unfittingly low level of advantage.