Erin Beeghly

Dissertation Fellow
2011-2012
Image of Erin Beeghly.

In “Stereotypes: How a Theory of Justice Should Respond,” Erin Beeghly (Philosophy) claims that our reliance on stereotypes, though necessary, is problematic from the standpoint of justice in that it causes discrimination, inter-group hostility, and inequality. Ms. Beeghly asks: “What differentiates permissible and impermissible kinds of stereotyping? How might impermissible stereotyping be reduced in a just state? How do our political ideals condemn the effects that stereotypes may have on people’s life chances?” To answer these questions, she draws upon and offers revisions of John Rawls’s theory of justice. Rawls sets the issue of stereotypes aside, arguing that discrimination (and, by extension, discrimination caused by stereotyping) simply won’t exist in a just state. Ms. Beeghly explores a revised theory, which would express a deeper, shared commitment to antidiscrimination and would more directly rule out a range of injustices, including those caused by stereotyping.