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Paul Russell
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Thanks Mohan - I am in complete sympathy with the points that you are making. Like you, I am in favour of the "amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged groups," as long as this is done by means of policies and practices that do not rely on the same arbitrary and problematic distinctions that (pernicious) racism appeals to. Devising schemes whereby some racial category or other ("white", "non-white", etc.) is excluded from eligibility for jobs and positions simply entrenches and legitimizes the very practices and principles that generated the problems and injustices in the first place. What solutions should be pursued is not an easy question to answer - and it may well be that there are no easy or simple solutions on offer here. Nevertheless, solutions that rely on the faulty apparatus and practices that need to be overturned are not the way to go.
chs: I am not surprised to be accused of being "alt right" (straight out of the gate)- although I have to confess that it is disappointing to see this on a philosophy blog. Suffice to point out that the policies and practices I was suggesting we would do well to avoid are those that are akin to those of apartheid (so far am I from alt-right sympathies). What your remarks to me do not address is the force of the example that I provided: given the criteria and restrictions of the job, which is directed only at "racially visible" and "Aboriginal peoples" (i.e. excluding "whites"), how is this policy to be implemented and adjudicated in practice? Will applicants need to send photos or parade in front of the appointment committee? What "tests" must they satisfy to meet these criteria - I just don't know? How ("racially visibly") non-white do you have to be? Where on this spectrum do you fall out of the eligible pool? Beyond this, it is hardly a sensible defence of racist policies and practices to claim that they are well-motivated. For what it is worth, as a child I lived in Lawrence, Kansas for many years (in the 1960s) where I witnessed severe and brutal racism - including segregated swimming pools (as based on "visibly racial" characteristics). I have worked against these forms of brutality and oppression and supported policies and parties that oppose them all my life. What I do not support, however, and believe everyone should speak out against, are ways of opposing racism that employ racist principles and practices (e.g. job selection based on a person's "visible racial" characteristics). It does not matter to me whether these practices and principles are "legal" or not - they are wrong and should be opposed. If taking this view means being accused of being "alt-right", then that is a burden I will have to bear.
I expect that the administration at Dalhousie has consulted the policies and practices of the former apartheid regime in South Africa - which had extensive experience in drawing these distinctions and using them for the purposes of hiring individuals on the basis of their (visible) racial characteristics. The following article may be useful to my Canadian colleagues at Dalhousie (e.g. “the pencil test”): Those who are interested in applying for this position may want to begin by consulting this web site, which will help you find out if you are eligible to apply:
Position now available at Gothenburg University Senior Lecturer in Practical Philosophy Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2016 at Flickers of Freedom
Subject area Practical philosophy Postdoc position(s) now available with the GRP at Gothenburg... Specific subject description GRP conducts research on responsibility within action theory, metaethics, and applied ethics, including healthcare ethics, business ethics, and criminal responsibility. Job assignments The postdoctoral fellow will contribute to the research environment, especially with respect... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2016 at Flickers of Freedom
Gothenburg, Sweden -- August 24-27 2016 Keynote Speakers: Helen Beebee John Martin Fischer Michael McKenna Shaun Nichols Derk Pereboom Helen Steward Kadri Vihvelin Author-meets-critics session Book: Responsibility from the Margins Author: David Shoemaker Critics: including Saul Smilansky and Dana Nelkin More details and the conference schedule can be found HERE... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2016 at Flickers of Freedom
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Mar 20, 2016