currently working on a book (tentatively entitled Ethics in Black and White) about
issues in applied ethics that
involve race: slave reparations, affirmative action, hate speech
hate crime laws, and racial profiling. T
attempts to develop a defense of
slave reparations, a position on affirmative action that manages to
middle way between its supporters and its opponents, opposition to hate
restrictions but support for hate crime laws, and a limited but
substantive defense of the permissibility of racial profiling under
sorts of conditions.
some of these positions may at first seem somewhat immoderate.
And taken as a whole, the positions in
may well initially seem inconsistent. But I try to establish that
do, indeed, offer a way to develop a coherent and reasonable
to these various issues by trying to argue from premises that most
people, on both sides of these various debates, already accept.
The book has now been accepted for publication by Cambridge University
Press. This means that it will be aimed at least in good
a relatively academic audience, including undergraduates. But I
have also tried to write the book in a somewhat less academic tone than
I have adopted in my previous work, and so I'm hoping that the book
will also be accessible to, and of interest to, a relatively broad
audience of non-academics. The final draft is not due to Cambridge
until April 2011, but I'm planning to finish final revisions by the end
of December 2010. With these goals in mind, here's what
you can do to help me write this book if you have the time and the
interest between now and the end of this year.
1. Click here
to go to a directory of the latest versions of the chapters that are
online, along with the table of contents and bibliography.
2. Read as much of the manuscript or as little as you like. After
the introductory chapter, there are two chapters on each of the five
subjects, and each pair of
chapters is essentially self-contained, so the treatment of the five
issues can be read in any
order (though I refer to reparations at a few points in the first of
the two chapters on affirmative action, and to hate speech at a few
points in the first of the two chapters on hate crime). Feel free
to jump in with whatever issue
interests you the most (the chapter titles will make clear which
are about which topics or you can look at the table of contents in the
3. As you are reading the manuscript, keep in mind the following sorts
of issues that I am particularly eager to get feedback about:
- quality of argumentation
rigorous and convincing are the arguments I develop and the objections
I raise against other arguments?
: do I do a fair job of
representing the various positions and writings I refer to?
: I'm particularly
concerned to make this readable for non-philosophers and general
readers. Any comments about style, pacing, word choice, etc.
would be greatly appreciated.
- further reading
: before I started
working on this book, I knew virtually nothing about the relevant
literature (a limitation that didn't stop me from writing my last two
books!). I have a list of
articles on these issues that I still haven't read, but any suggestions
for more to add to the list would be great.
: I'm not really crazy about
the title and am open to other ideas. I'd also be happy to get
suggestions for improving some of the chapter and section titles.
4. when you're finished, send me your comments at David.Boonin@Colorado.Edu
and let me know how you came across my manuscript. I'm
hoping to finish the final draft by the end of December 2010, so
any comments that reach me
before that would be
5. send a message with a link to this page to anyone you know --
philosophers and non-philosophers alike -- who might also be interested
in providing me with critical feedback.
Thank you very much for your interest in
helping me with
my project, and please let me know if you have any questions,
- David Boonin
January 21, 2010