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Philosophy, Race, and Racism(224-0-20)


Laura Ariadne Martin

Meeting Info

Online: Mon, Wed, 11:00AM - 12:20PM

Overview of class

Race powerfully shapes our identities and how we are treated by others. But does race really exist? Is it racist to think that it does? Can we fight racism without the concept of race? In this course we will explore philosophical questions about the nature of race and racial oppression. We begin with what race is - the ontology of race - and whether it is biological or socially constructed. If race is socially constructed, how does it acquire its power? Can, or should, we eliminate this concept or hold onto it? We then examine the lived experience of racial oppression. Is racism primarily psychological or structural? How does racism intersect with other forms of oppression? How can we create a more just society? Readings will include Appiah, Du Bois, Zack, Fanon, Alcoff, Crenshaw, and Mills.

Learning Objectives

This course will enable students to:
? Articulate different positions in the philosophy of race, such as racial eliminativism and constructivism, and defend or critique their own views in relation to these positions.
? Read and critically reflect upon difficult philosophical texts. Students will learn how to
understand, analyze, and critically engage with a philosophical argument.
? Express themselves clearly in writing and class discussion. Students will have learned how to articulate their ideas in a persuasive, organized piece of writing.
? Learn how to engage in a respectful and productive discussion of ideas with others in the
? Connect philosophical ideas to their own lives and contemporary political issues.

Evaluation Method

Papers, participation, reading responses

Class Materials (Required)

Author: W.E.B. Du Bois
Title: Souls of Black Folk
Edition: First
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Year: 1999
ISBN: 978-0393973938

Class Notes

Final paper.

Class Attributes

Ethics & Values Distro Area
Synchronous:Class meets remotely at scheduled time