Utilitarianism on Discrimination - Dictionary of Arguments
Gaus I 224
Discrimination/Utilitarianism/Lamont: While many utilitarians claim that economic or legal discrimination against ethnic minorities will not maximize overall utility, they do not provide the evidence required to support their claims against the populist politicians advocating such policies. Partly, this is due to the complexity of the required evidence, but a further counterintuitive element of the theory is that the consequences, for overall welfare, of discriminatory practices include such contingencies as the size of the ethnic minority and whether the majority has racist beliefs and preferences.
Few reasonable people, outside academia, are willing to embrace a theory according to which
racist policies and institutions are morally right so long as the ethnic minority is small enough. So substantial stumbling blocks have been encountered in the utilitarian justification for expanding the government's role from improving the welfare of the poor to maximizing overall welfare.
Lamont, Julian, „Distributive Justice“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Gerald F. Gaus
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004