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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Philosophy (PHIL)

PHIL 009 (GH;US) Philosophy, Race, and Diversity (3) Critically examines the significance of race and cultural diversity for, and in, understandings of reality, knowledge, truth, morality, and justice.

PHIL 009 Philosophy, Race, and Diversity (3)
(GH;US)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course explores the diverse philosophical concepts and problems regarding race. It covers writings dealing specifically with critiques of the dominant theories and definitions of racial identity, thereby providing an introduction to the diversity of ethical and social approaches to questions concerning race. This course is designed to satisfy the criteria for a humanities course with a focus on diversity (General Education Humanities and Diversity Focused). In particular, it is designed to be an offering in the humanities insofar as it: (1) develops a broad, coherent overview of the meaning of cultural diversity itself (including a clarification of the conceptions of culture, race, gender, nationality, and pluralism); (2) stresses the writings of major theorists from both the traditional canon of Western thought and diverse traditions, most prominently African-America, Latin-American, Asian American, and Native American traditions; (3) helps students develop the skills to interpret and to assess the nature, forms, and place of human values in our multi-cultural world; (4) fosters a deeper appreciation of and more critical attitude toward the ultimate ends of human action; (5) offers ample opportunities to engage in comparative philosophy and, allied with these, numerous challenges to communicate clearly, think logically, and evaluate critically the positions and perspectives being compared; (6) meets fully the stated objectives of general humanities education by providing students with texts occupying a central place in one or more human cultures and, then, by working through these texts in a careful and critical manner (such a process of working through these texts being also one of thinking critically and imaginatively about the questions posed by the texts, moreover one of being invited or even forced to integrate various perspectives). As a diversity focused course, PHIL 009 will carefully treat the philosophical issues of pluralism, universalism, diversity, and community. It will also pay careful attention to the diverse philosophies of different cultural communities. The conflicts between cultural localism and global economics will receive critical attention. In particular, this course will: (1) focus initially on ethnicity and race, then on gender and globalism; (2) encourage students to develop an understanding of the intellectual and ethical backgrounds and assumptions of other traditions and peoples; (3) help students develop a truly global, pluralistic, and multi-cultural viewpoint; and (4) explore the intellectual history of groups identified by ethnicity, race, gender, and religion. Students will be graded on a collaborative annotated bibliography project, a collaborative position paper, individual evaluations of position papers, and a comprehensive final exam. The course is intended as a General Education Humanities and Intercultural/International competency course and as such may serve as an historical overview of race and diversity in philosophy as well as an introduction to critical thinking about topical issues. This course may provide introductory material for courses in anthropology, political science, sociology, philosophy, and so on. More importantly, it may encourage students to think more carefully and critically about the questions raised in this course and their manifestation in social and political life. The course is a non-major General Education Humanities and Intercultural course intended for non-philosophy majors. It may be used to fulfill minor requirements in philosophy. PHIL 009 will be offered once per year with 150-200 seats per offering.


General Education: GH
Diversity: US
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Summer 2005

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.