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Affirmative action

2005

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The Pimple On Adonis's Nose: A Dialogue On The Concept Of Merit In The Affirmative Action Debate, Tobias Barrington Wolff, Robert Paul Wolff Jan 2005

The Pimple On Adonis's Nose: A Dialogue On The Concept Of Merit In The Affirmative Action Debate, Tobias Barrington Wolff, Robert Paul Wolff

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Efforts at progressive educational reform in general, and affirmative action in particular, frequently encounter a rhetorically powerful objection: Merit. The story of merit proclaims that high-achieving applicants - those who have already made effective use of educational opportunities in the past and demonstrated a likelihood of being able to do so in the future - enjoy a morally superior claim in the distribution of scarce educational resources. Past achievement, in other words, entitles an applicant to a superior education. This moral framework of merit serves as a constant counterpoint in debates over affirmative action, including those contained in the Court's …