Philosophy Colloquium - "Can Individualist and Structural Approaches to Discrimination Be Reconciled?"
Adam Hosein is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Northeastern University. He received his Ph.D. from MIT. He works mainly in moral, political, and legal philosophy, with a special interest in areas of international concern and issues relating to race or gender. Before coming to Northeastern, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has held fellowships and visiting positions at Chicago Law, Harvard University, the University of Toronto, and the Université Catholique de Louvain.
The 17-18 Philosophy Colloquium continues with Professor Hosein's talk titled, "Can Individualist and Structural Approaches to Discrimination Be Reconciled?"
What counts as discrimination? On one approach—associated with 'disparate treatment' standards in law—discrimination involves one particular actor wronging another, irrespective of any broader effects of her behavior. This typically involves a malign motivation of some kind on the part of the actor. On a second approach—associated with 'disparate impact' standards in law—discrimination involves contributing to broader unjust structures in society. Social justice activists have tried to push for an approach of the latter kind, while conservatives have insisted that the only 'real' discrimination involves disparate treatment.
As disparate impact standards continue to be eroded, I will argue that we can reconcile these perspectives somewhat. We can see the attraction of the more individualist approach while still bringing in structural concerns and advocating for some form of disparate impact standard in the law.
Free and open to the public