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date: 04 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the tendency of racial differences to support violations of distributive justice. It is thus a discussion in non-ideal theory and avoids discussion of ideal theory. It begins by showing that races are social constructions. Social constructions are sets of mainly false beliefs, and racial differences support violations of distributive justice because of the nature of these beliefs. The races as social constructions are generated by ideologies that are developed for some political purpose such as a defense of black slavery or the forced deportation of black people from America. Affirmative action is defended on the basis of a backward looking appeal to compensatory justice. The argument is that it can be designed so as to expunge the false beliefs that constitute the social constructions of race, and educate the public about racism.

Keywords: justice, distributive justice, ideal theory, non-ideal theory, compensation, deportation, social construction, ideology, race, slavery.

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