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Moreau on discrimination: pluralism, equality, and the experience of discrimination

In Jurisprudence Volume 12, Issue 4 (2021) Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen comments on Sophia Moreau's book "Faces of Inequality" (OUP2020)



Sophia Moreau’s Faces of Inequality is a terrific book and it is a great privilege to have this opportunity to comment on it. In this ambitious book, Moreau identifies and helpfully analyses a number of ways in which discrimination can be morally wrongful. In particular, I am impressed with her insightful account of how both direct and indirect discrimination alike, though in different ways, can subordinate people and how her overall theory of the wrongfulness of discrimination fits nicely with a wide range of different moral intuitions pertaining to discrimination.

Nevertheless, this symposium is not an ‘author meets fans’ session. Having made clear my very positive overall view of the book, I will henceforth point to some issues regarding Moreau’s account of the wrongness of discrimination where I would have liked to know more. More specifically, I will address five issues: 1) the nature and advantages of Moreau’s unified, but pluralist, account of the wrongness of discrimination; 2) the relation between the wrongness of individual acts of discrimination on the one hand, and the wrongness of discriminatory practices on the other hand; 3) the wrongness of discrimination that treats some as more than equals and none as less than equals; 4) Moreau’s ambition to capture the lived experience of discrimination and the aims of anti-discrimination law; and 5), finally, the relation between deliberative freedom and opportunity costs.