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Spring 2024 Seminar

Theoretical Issues in Anti-Discrimination Law

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This seminar will examine central questions about anti-discrimination law from a philosophical point of view. After considering foundational issues about the nature of discrimination and its legal regulation in general, we will turn to a variety of more specific controversies—potentially including the proper role of disparate impact in establishing discrimination, the possibility of religious exemptions from anti-discrimination rules, the permissibility of “statistical” discrimination, and the relationship between bans on discrimination and requirements of affirmative accommodation. Students should expect to engage closely both with academic (particularly philosophical) arguments about the proper scope of anti-discrimination law, and also with case-law that reflects the law’s evolving answers to the same questions.