By Steven M. Cahn
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Extra info for Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry
The two classes of employees lived and ate separatelYI' enjoyed noticeably different living amenities, and confronted markedly different wage scales.
Put in this way, however, the compensatory question has once again been transformed into issues of correction and redistribution. Moreover, the required compensation may impose extensive burdens on those who were not initial perpetrators of the injustices and have not benefited significantly from them. When academic jobs were scarce, concentration on affirmative action appointments virtually foreclosed some white males from academic careers. One response is to argue that these burdens are simply overridden by the enormity of the initial and continuing injustices.
My own speculation here is that in most circumstances the risks of allowing recalcitrant discrimination to continue are more severe, but the underlying issue is an empirical one, and generalizations may be unwise. In I)efense of Affirmative Action 35 Desert Other objections to affirmative action focus on what happens to those who lose out when the policy is implemented. By hypothesis, affirmative action does make changes if it is successful. Some affirmative action strategies create identifiable, sing"ular losers: those who without affirmative action would have received the job or the admission at issue.