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Keywords:

  • discrimination;
  • disadvantage;
  • moral exclusion;
  • justification

Abstract

This article tries to define what discrimination is and to understand in particular detail its most important instances: those in which the satisfaction of interests is at stake. These cases of discrimination will be characterized in terms of deprivations of benefits. In order to describe and classify them we need to consider three different factors: the benefits of which discriminatees are deprived, the criteria according to which such benefits are denied or granted, and the justification that such deprivation of benefits may have (or lack). This definition intends to present discrimination as a concept that may be useful not only to examine certain social phenomena, but also, more widely, to ethical theory in general.