In 2005-6 the Royal Danish Theatre (RDT) contemplated a discount to ethnically non-Danish theatergoers, who only constituted 0.1% of the audience in the previous season. The Danish Center for Documentation of and Counseling on Racial Discrimination objected that the scheme violated the law on race discrimination and ethnic equality. RDT replied that young theatergoers also receive a discount, but ultimately withdrew the scheme after some public controversy. Cases like this bring out the need for:
1) Developing a clear definition of discrimination – Why is the contemplated discount discrimination and the discount for young people not? – and a detailed taxonomy of different species of discrimination on the basis of conceptual as well as empirical analyses of people’s psychological intuitions about discrimination.
2) Mapping the reasons why people think some types of discrimination are morally objectionable and other types are not – Do people find the discount objectionable for the same reasons as, say, Apartheid laws?
3) Identifying the means by which discrimination can and possibly should be mitigated – Was the discount affirmative action rather than discrimination, or both?
CEPDISC will realize these three goals. At the forefront of the novel field of experimental philosophy, CEPDISC is in a unique position to elucidate the phenomenon of discrimination by combining two powerful scientific tools: philosophical conceptual analysis and experimental empirical investigation.