Such charges also fundamentally misunderstand why deBoer believes all this matters. Inequality of ability is real — but this doesn’t lead to inequality of human value. Genetics play a major role in educational attainment but are outside any individual’s control, acci…
Thanks for the review--interesting and useful ideas.
Just two thoughts: "Inequality of ability" is a term that could use some critical unpacking.
And, yes: whether or not a human possesses the ability to do something does not equate to a human who is by extension innately superior or inferior. That's an efficient abstract equation.
Whether or not that equation works out in actuality (off the page), however, shouldn't be assumed. In a mathematical formula, your words are accurate. In actual relational practices, though, those with different abilities are often on the end of imbalanced power relations, which attributes to them less value and by extension, less equitable treatment.
It's a common mistake made often by white male academics (and those who've internalized similar norms): the conflation of abstract efficiency formulas with unfounded assumptions about the outcome of actual human relational interactions. That overvalued white male perspective in academic research also actively ignores what it calls the "soft science" of cultural or social research--exactly the site that can illuminate those actual human relational interactions.
Now, more than ever, we all need to be mindful about how our own assumptions as white academics devalue the social and relational. We need to make a relational turn in scholarship in order to devote our considerable intellects to repairing the damage done to human relations the last few years. Going forward, we need to recognize that healthy relations are the basis of healthy cultural change, and any solutions must include consideration of how they can be planted in healthy human relations.