- The Oxford Handbook of Distributive Justice
- Introduction: The Idea of Distributive Justice
- Rawls on Distributive Justice and the Difference Principle
- Dworkin and Luck Egalitarianism: A Comparison
- Equality Versus Priority
- Sufficiency and Needs-Based Approaches
- The Capability Approach
- Libertarianism, Left and Right
- Desert-Based Justice
- Retributive Justice
- The Good Society
- The Ethics of Care
- The Theory and Politics of Recognition
- Distributive Justice and Human Nature
- Political and Distributive Justice
- Consequentialism, Deontology, Contractualism, and Equality
- Ideal Theory
- Constructivism, Intuitionism, and Ecumenism
- Conceptual Analysis and Distributive Justice
- The Family
- Public Goods
- Cultural and Religious Minorities
- Justice Across Borders
- Climate Change
- Future Generations
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.
Bernard R. Boxill is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His essays on self-respect, protest, race, justice, reparations, and affirmative action have appeared in leading journals and collections. In 2017 his book Blacks and Social Justice (Rowman & Littlefield 1992) was awarded the Lippincott prize.
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