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Preferential policies, in her view, worked a kind of justice.Nagel, by contrast, argued that preferences might work a kind of social good, and without doing violence to justice.
This is because the burning issue at the turn of the twentieth-first century is about college admissions.
At selective colleges, women need no boost; African-Americans and Hispanics do.
4, fully implementing the Executive Order, landed on campus by way of directives from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. 4, first promulgated in 1970, cast a wide net over American institutions, both public and private.
By extending to all contractors the basic apparatus of the construction industry “plans,” the Order imposed a one-size-fits-all system of “underutilization analyses,” “goals,” and “timetables” on hospitals, banks, trucking companies, steel mills, printers, airlines—indeed, on all the scores of thousands of institutions, large and small, that did business with the government, including a special set of institutions with a particularly voluble and articulate constituency, namely, American universities.
In 1972, affirmative action became an inflammatory public issue.
True enough, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 already had made something called “affirmative action” a remedy federal courts could impose on violators of the Act.The ebb and flow of public controversy over affirmative action can be pictured as two spikes on a line, the first spike representing a period of passionate debate that began around 1972 and tapered off after 1980, and the second indicating a resurgence of debate in the 1990s leading up to Supreme Court’s decisions in 20 upholding certain kinds of affirmative action.The first spike encompassed controversy about gender and racial preferences alike.At first, university administrators and faculty found the rules of Order No.4 murky but hardly a threat to the established order.Likewise, after 1965 federal contractors had been subject to President Lyndon Johnson’s Executive Order 11246, requiring them to take “affirmative action” to make sure they were not discriminating. The Executive Order assigned to the Secretary of Labor the job of specifying rules of implementation.In the meantime, as the federal courts were enforcing the Civil Rights Act against discriminating companies, unions, and other institutions, the Department of Labor mounted an ad hoc attack on the construction industry by cajoling, threatening, negotiating, and generally strong-arming reluctant construction firms into a series of region-wide “plans” in which they committed themselves to numerical hiring goals.The 1972 Revised Order, on the other hand, effected a change that punctured any campus complacency: it included women among the “protected classes” whose “underutilization” demanded the setting of “goals” and “timetables” for “full utilization” (Graham 1990, 413).Unlike African-Americans and Hispanics, women were getting Ph Ds in substantial and growing numbers.For several decades Anglo-American philosophy had treated moral and political questions obliquely.On the prevailing view, philosophers were suited only to do “conceptual analysis”—they could lay bare, for example, the conceptual architecture of the idea of justice, but they were not competent to suggest political principles, constitutional arrangements, or social policies that actually did justice.