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11/17/2016

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Applied Ethics Professor

Two concerns:

(1) The survey collects information on age, gender, and minority status. Before submitting the survey, I would like an assurance that if my answers to open-ended questions are quoted in a talk or paper, my age, gender, and minority status will not be listed along with the quotation.

(2) Many applied ethics courses include readings that are not by philosophers (e.g. legal cases, newspaper articles, business case studies). It would not be unusual for fewer than half of the readings on a business ethics syllabus to be by philosophers.

If you ask how many readings *total* are on a syllabus, and you then ask how many readings on the syllabus were by female and minority *philosophers*, you may get misleading data. For instance, it would be a mistake to assume that the readings not by female philosophers have male authors, since they may be written by female judges, journalists, or scholars in other fields.

Helen De Cruz

Dear applied ethics professor, thank you for your concerns. (1) certainly not. I would only name your location and position (e.g., assistant professor, US).
(2) I see - I think that it would be OK in this case to just mean authors rather than philosophers (I have a broad definition of what a philosopher is anyway, but even then it would probably not encompass the people you mention!)

Helen De Cruz

I should clarify, I am asking about minority status merely to get a broad statistical sense of how many people who are minorities are participating, and also to do certain statistical tests that I can't talk about now because it might influence people's responses, but this data will all be aggregated and individual people won't be identified in this way.

Ellen Berrey

Shameless self promotion, but might be helpful:
http://www.salon.com/2015/10/26/diversity_is_for_white_people_the_big_lie_behind_a_well_intended_word/

Or see my more serious academic elaboration of the argument in my book: The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice (Univ of Chicago Press 2015). I'm a sociologist.

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