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There are six speakers in Ariadne's dialogue on affirmative action. Their names are Ann, John, Fred, Vera, Malik, and Dee. Each has a different view of the ethics of strong affirmative action programs, their desirability, their probable outcomes, and their justification. The bulk of the conversation is among Ann, John, Fred, and Malik. Vera and Dee speak less, but they have strong views to express.

In many cases Ann and Malik will agree, but their approaches also differ in important ways. The same is true for Fred and Dee. Keep in mind that sometimes a speaker will say something that he or she is thinking about but does not firmly believe. In conversation we often ask questions and throw out ideas to see what others think or to get more information.