Having read the responses to Prof David Benatar's arguments against race-based affirmative action (AA) policies, I would like to comment, not on the arguments themselves, but on the responses he has received within the UCT community.
The UCT debate, sparked by the inaugural lecture of Professor David Benatar of the Department of Philosophy, continues unabated, as witnessed by the interest in two lectures hosted as part of the university's Respect campaign and the letters pouring in to Monday Paper over the past few weeks (not to mention those posted to newspapers and electronic discussion lists around campus).
Following the recent inaugural lecture by Professor David Benatar on affirmative action, and the follow-up debate with Professor Martin Hall, UCT's been abuzz with debate and discussion.
I left the meeting with a great sense of despair: we definitely live in two worlds at UCT: the still privileged who cannot see what the "whinging" is about, and us who have "perception/entitlement" issues. Abu Adams, Black Caucus discussion list
Inaugural lectures are opportunities for colleagues who have achieved full academic rank to showcase their work and to "launch" their ideas and scholarly pursuits publicly in the presence of peers and other members of the university community.
Professor Hall responds to my reasoned argument with a number of rhetorical moves. Indeed, by his own admission, he eschews "fixed sequential logic with irrefutable outcomes at each of its stages" and regards himself freed "from the shackles" of my "analytical prison".
Professor David Benatar unleashed a storm of debate at UCT with his inaugural lecture on Justice, Diversity and Affirmative Action, delivered on 11 April.
Professor David Benatar and I share the same objective - an ever improving university in a just society. We differ as to the means of achieving this objective.
For the past nine years, visually impaired Annemie Gildenhuys, now a postgraduate student and tutor in the Department of Philosophy, has had a faithful canine guide and companion in Liesel (right), a sweet black Labrador who, when she was younger, sometimes stole food from colleagues' lunch bags.