Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Thursday, December 10, 2015

UNDILUTED POISON

I trust you all read Associate Justice Antonin Scalia's observation from the Bench, during a hearing of a case challenging the admissions rules at the University of Texas, that African-American students accepted under affirmative action programs are "being pushed into schools that are too advanced for them,"  and would do better in less-demanding schools.  Seated on the Bench with him was Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who was admitted to Yale Law School under a program that reserved 10% of the places in each class to minority applicants.  It is not reported that Justice Thomas offered a demur.

3 comments:

Derek said...

From what I understand (and I'm no expert), Justice Thomas himself is a major opponent of affirmative action in admissions for quite similar reasons to Scalia; he feels that affirmative action policies make people think that he didn't earn his spot, in brief. I'm pretty sure he's never voted in favor of affirmative action policies, though perhaps someone who knows more can correct me.

There's also the fact that he has literally spoken during oral arguments once, I believe, in the last seven-ish years, when he whispered a joke to a fellow justice during an argument last term.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Indeed. My final remark was meant sardonically.

Matt said...

In my business ethics course I teach a section on the ethics of hiring (part of a larger section on the treatment of employees and workers.) When we discuss affirmative action, one of the hardest things to get the students to wrap their minds around is that, for any spot in life that has more than one desired qualification, it's not clear that the idea of "hiring the most qualified person" or "admitting the most qualified person" makes sense, at least not in a way we can use. (For admissions and in hiring, we can sometimes look back and see we made a mistake one way or another, but in the initial choice situation, that doesn't help us.) It is very hard for them to take. They want to just keep saying that we should hire the most qualified person, over and over. Not all of them, of course, but a surprisingly large number.