PHIL 389

Race and Philosophy

The construct of race is omnipresent in the way people think, the way society is structured, and even in the materials that people use. Despite its omnipresence, race remains difficult to discuss, if it is discussed at all, because of its theoretical complexity, contested social history, and emotional triggers. This course challenges students to engage in courageous conversations about the nature of race and its relations to mind, language, and aesthetics. Students will confront difficult questions such as: What is race? How does race influence human cognition? How does race structure human communication? How does race shape human aesthetic preferences and artistic endeavors? Students use tools developed in different areas of philosophy and its cognate disciplines to construct answers to these difficult questions about race. At the same time, students learn that these difficult questions about race can challenge and extend common conceptions of analytic philosophy.