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Anca Gheaus

Thanks for such serious engagement with my post and paper Eric! I am merely arguing that people (in general, not only women of course) don't have a claim to certain positions, not that they should never seek to occupy those positions. My work is not about the ethics of seeking such positions, or of occupying them; it's only a push-back against the (I think widespread) view that people have a claim to opportunities for the positions in question as a way of buttressing such an ethics. Moreover, I think that as long as the positions in question exist, it is better for them to be occupied by diverse people, and I certainly want people from disadvantaged backgrounds to occupy many of these positions unless and until they're abolished. But not under the banner of meritocracy. It's one thing to say: we should have quotas for women, and fill these positions with women who meet a certain threshold of competence selected by, for instance, lotteries. And another one to say: we should organise competitions for these positions because everybody should have an opportunity for them.

If in practice I am supporting the access of disadvantaged minorities to the top, then why the fuss, you may ask? That's because some feminists appeal to the ideal of equal opportunities for positions of advantage in order to criticise some policies that would benefit the worse off women (a basic income; homemakers' wages; some forms of parental leave.) I've done this myself in the past, and now I think it was misguided, morally and politically.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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