A right to deliberative freedom: Reply to Campbell and Smith
Abstract

In this reply to Campbell and Smith, I argue that my account is quite consistent with our moral intuitions about affirmative action policies. In particular, my theory does not claim that we all have an interest in being 'completely free' in a deliberative sense. So it does not commit us to the view that in cases of affirmative action, a lawmaker always has some reason to prevent discrimination against members of the more privileged group. Moreover, my account recognizes that whether someone has a right not to be discriminated against in certain circumstances depends on a complex array of factors that includes the interests of others, such as the beneficiaries of affirmative action programs. I then argue that the asymmetric treatment of certain grounds of discrimination in the law does not reflect any deep features of the injustice involved in discrimination. Instead, it reflects a judgment about the social contexts in which discrimination is likely to occur – a judgment that is entirely consistent with my theory.


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