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This raises a different and intractable problem. What do we do about many of our talents being just as arbitrary as our class, race and gender — which are rightly deemed to be unacceptable sources of inequality? There seems no good reason why a person should benefit from the natural lottery rather than the social lottery. Perhaps inequality is permissible if it results purely from hard work. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to parse out what is the result of environmental and genetic luck and what is the result of a healthy work ethic — which is also, in part, a feature of the natural lottery.

Most of us will never bend it like Beckham no matter how hard we try.

Position on Equality of Opportunity

And as for making large amounts of money playing football, Beckham was very lucky to have been born male. When an idea asks for the impossible it might be time to reconsider and start thinking of equality in terms of outcomes rather than opportunities.

Screen music and the question of originality - Miguel Mera — London, Islington. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. David van Mill , University of Western Australia. But is that necessarily the worst thing? As American political philosopher Richard Arneson says: When equality of opportunity prevails, the assignment of places in the hierarchy is determined by some form of competitive process, and all members of society are eligible to compete on equal terms.

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But this ideal is not possible — nor is it desirable. Formal equality of opportunity One understanding of equality of opportunity is that it only requires legal equality, which is realised when everyone is treated equally before the law. As Arneson says: The ideal of formal equality of opportunity has limited scope. Substantive equality of opportunity It seems, therefore, that equality of opportunity requires state intervention in our private lives to make sure that the children of our most disadvantaged citizens have the same opportunities as the children of Kerry Packer.

Such a dialogue would be welcome, but would equality of opportunity then be desirable? Natural endowments Equality of opportunity necessarily leads to inequality once everyone has the same set of opportunities. Philosophy Ethics Inequality Equality equal opportunity Social inequality. You might also like.

Bret Weinstein - Equality of Outcome vs Equality of Opportunity

The growing inequality that triggered the Occupy protests, such as this one in Bennington, Vermont, is now registering as an issue with politicians at the highest level. Most multinationals still struggle with gender equality.

Position on Equality of Opportunity

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As a veteran of more hiring committees than she can count, she has made great efforts to recruit students and faculty from visible minorities, often with considerable success. But now, she says, "The pendulum is swinging way too far.

What if Equality of Opportunity is a Bad Idea? | 3 Quarks Daily

The unexamined notion behind the diversity craze is that there is never any conflict between diversity and excellence. On the contrary, it's widely assumed that the more diverse the team or institution, the better the performance. In fact, there is no real evidence for this. Another fallacy is the assumption that skills, desires, preferences and motivation are evenly spread across all groups in society.

If this is the case, then unequal outcomes must be due to systemic discrimination. Systemic discrimination is the legacy of our long history of colonization, white privilege, and unconscious bias against 'The Other. Despite substantial progress, decades of affirmative action have not entirely fixed these historic imbalances in outcomes. To get around this problem, more and more institutions have decided to fast-track the process by dropping the pretense that people from dominant groups are welcome to apply. The mathematics school at the University of Melbourne in Australia is currently advertising for females only.

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The University of Saskatchewan is advertising a tenure-track position in the faculty of arts and science — in any rank or any field, so long as the candidate is Indigenous. These days, hardly anyone argues that the current disparities in certain fields are caused by overt acts of sexism and racism. Instead, the problems are said to be systemic. They are invisible, pervasive and impossible to resolve until the ruling classes admit their hidden biases and privilege.

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That is the tenor of an exhaustive new report issued by Ontario's law society, which has attracted a fair amount of controversy because it demands that lawyers swear a personal commitment to diversity. The report begins by asserting that systemic racism runs rampant in the legal profession. This racism can only be overcome by a massive program of re-education, statistics-keeping and a commitment to equality of outcomes in every aspect of the law. Never mind that the number of "racialized" lawyers in Ontario rose from 9 per cent in to nearly 20 per cent in The report explains that systemic racism is rooted in the traditional supremacy of white men, who unwittingly hold back everybody else.

As Janet Leiper, the co-chair of the working group that issued the report, told the CBC , "It's about saying, look, we live in a culture that was settled by white settlers. No one would argue that discrimination has magically ceased to exist, or that we have reached a perfectly fair and just society. We never will.

But the argument that equal outcomes are the one true measure of equality is corrosive. It means we're doomed to see people through the prism of race and gender instead of talent and achievement.

It means that people who refuse to reverse discriminate will be perceived as racist. It means that some people will have to go to the back of the bus because, for whatever reasons, their ancestors were at the front of the bus. Maybe you think it's fine to rectify past injustices with fresh ones. Maybe you think diversity matters more than excellence.

In that case, you're going to make a very fine university administrator. Because that's their job these days. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

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