Philosophy Research Archives

Volume 11, 1985

Sander H. Lee
Pages 155-168

Reverse Discrimination and Social Justice

Tom Beauchamp has pointed out that there are three major positions advocated on the issue of “reverse discrimination”. In this article, I will argue that all three of these positions overlook a central issue which is at stake in this controversy and I will suggest that a fourth position exists. Furthermore, I will argue that the programs usually supported by those in favor of preferential treatment (e.g., the setting of educational or employmental goals or quotas) are, while unquestionably worthwhile in their aims, in fact only superficial “band-aid” type solutions to a problem which requires much more fundamental changes in our attitudes concerning the distribution of wealth and opportunities in our society.