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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-S018-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 16, 2024, from

Article Summary

A principle forbidding discrimination is widely used to criticize and prohibit actions and policies that disadvantage racial, ethnic and religious groups, women and homosexuals. Discriminatory actions often rely on unfavourable group stereotypes and the belief that members of certain groups are not worthy of equal treatment. A prohibition of discrimination applies to the distribution of important benefits such as education and jobs, and says that people are not to be awarded or denied such benefits on grounds of characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Attempts have been made to expand this principle to cover institutional discrimination. Discrimination is morally wrong because its premise that one group is less worthy than another is insulting to its victims, because it harms its victims by reducing their self-esteem and opportunities, and because it is unfair.

Citing this article:
Nickel, James W.. Discrimination, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-S018-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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