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Instructor: Macy Salzberger. This course meets MTWRF 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. in CW 208.

This course aims to introduce students to some of the main issues in African American political philosophy. We will being with an overview of important concepts in African American political philosophy such as race, racism, reparations, and equal opportunity. In the course of our discussion, we will ask questions such as: What is race? Is race a natural category or is it constructed? If race is constructed, who constructed race, and for what purposes? What is racism? Is racism a matter of holding particular beliefs or is racism a matter of holding certain attitudes? Is racism largely perpetuated by individuals or institutions? How ought we respond to racism? Is equal opportunity enough or are reparations morally required from the nation? In the second part of the course, we will investigate the normative and political implications of particular topics in contemporary context. Such topics include: racial profiling in policing and data surveillance, affirmative action in education, and identity politics.

The substantive goal of this course is to familiarize ourselves with the intellectual and philosophical efforts to understand  and respond to the enslavement and oppression of African Americans in the United States, to carefully evaluate the arguments given, and to try to develop rationally defensible positions of our own.