By Steven M. Cahn
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Additional resources for Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry
Decisions may be based on both discriminatory and nondiscriminatory reasons, and it may be very hard to separate the two or to determine which predominated or whether the biased reasons changed the outcome. Under current legal standards, allegations of discrimination in academia may be some of the most difficult to establish. When claims of discrimination have been borne out, it has also been difficult to know whether the problematic procedures have been corrected, without insisting on actual success in adding women and minorities to faculties or student bodies-that is, without relying on outcome-directed corrective methods.
Does it mean graduate teaching, undergraduate teaching, or teaching nOl1traditional students? Different abilities are relevant to these different purposes. Race or sex may be closely linked with these abilities; forcing departments to take race or sex into account may be the only means we have to open up consideration of these abilities. Recognizing the value choices involved, and making them in one way or another, does not discount candidates as those whose abilities matter in the world. Rather, it recognizes that different abilities may matter for differerLt purposes, even within the university, and that candidates with these different abilities may be similarly deserving.
977 (1988). 25. Watson v. , concurring in part and concurring in the judgment). 26. Ibid. at 997. 27. Wards Cove Packing Co. v. (:t. 2115 (1989). The employers in this case, salmon canneries open only during the summer, had variable hiring needs. They maintained two classifications of employees, unskilled cannery jobs on the line and skilled noncannery jobs of a wide variety. The two classes of employees lived and ate separatelYI' enjoyed noticeably different living amenities, and confronted markedly different wage scales.