Stephen Asma’s latest book, “Against Fairness” is not exactly what its title suggests. Asma’s philosophical take on reevaluating what is considered to be “fair,” addresses the topic of fairness in a refreshing way, eschewing the culture of rewarding everyone for favoritism. In the context of his own parenting experience, anecdotes about deciding what’s fair and what isn’t are especially resonant. Is it unfair for children to distribute Valentines to just the friends they care for the most instead of the whole class? Is equal opportunity as “fair” as unilateral equal treatment?
Stephen T. Asma, author of “Against Fairness” and Distinguished Scholar and professor of philosophy and Fellow of the Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture at Columbia College in Chicago. His previous books include “On Monsters” and “Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads.”