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International Journal of Applied Philosophy

Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2004

Terence J. Pell
Pages 13-26

The Nature of Claims About Race and the Debate Over Racial Preferences

In this paper, I argue that assertions about the value of diversity rely on contradictory and incommensurable claims. As a result, institutions like the Supreme Court find it impossible to articulate an impartial standard for the appropriate use of race in college admissions. I argue that in the absence of such a standard, institutions inevitably fall back on engineering proportional racial outcomes, a method of college admissions that disproportionately harms minority students.

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