Article

Counterfactual discrimination

Published in: South African Journal of Philosophy
Volume 36, issue 4, 2017, pages: 495–504
DOI: 10.1080/02580136.2017.1359469
Author(s): D. C. MatthewDepartment of Philosophy, Canada

Abstract

In counterfactual cases of discrimination, an agent would have treated someone worse had circumstances been different such that instead of being a member of her actual group, she was a member of some other group. The case for considering such cases to be genuine cases of discrimination is bolstered by the fact that we are inclined to say that cases where an agent would have treated someone better had she been a member of another group are discriminatory. But I argue that the cases are relevantly different: in one kind of case, but not the other, a person is harmed. I then consider and reject a number of objections to this suggestion.

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