San Diego Law Review

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At different points in his paper, Professor Arneson offers two inconsistent descriptions of what his paper tries to accomplish. The first is to answer his title question. The second is to answer that question within a deontological morality that holds, contrary to act consequentialism, that what is morally right and wrong ... is fixed by ... moral constraints [which] mainly take the form of moral rights of others that are correlative with moral obligations that one must not violate these rights. In a footnote, Professor Arneson explains that this assumed moral framework is not the one I would ultimately endorse. The project of this essay is to explore what one should hold about discrimination, given that one adheres to a deontological morality. In other words, he is going to try to do the job with a tool that he thinks is flawed. He is not going to show us how to open the can. He is going to show us how to open the can with a sledgehammer. It is therefore unsurprising and not necessarily a criticism of Professor Arneson that the exercise is messy and results in less nourishment than we might have hoped for.

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