Prof. David Boonin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         MWF 10:00-10:50
Office: Hellems 182                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hale 260
Phone: 492-6964
office hours: MW 11:00-12:30
PHIL 2270: Philosophy and Race

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

course description: This course offers an introduction to philosophical thinking about race-related issues via a critical examination of writings on five such problems in particular: slave reparations, affirmative action, racial profiling, hate speech codes, and hate crime laws.  It does not presuppose any background in philosophy or familiarity with the issues to be discussed.  The format for the course will involve a combination of lectures and class discussion.  The dates on the syllabus are approximate and the amount of time spent on any one topic will depend in part on the amount of class discussion that each topic generates.  If there is time at the end of the semester, we will briefly discuss a few additional topics selected by the class. 

required readings: All required readings are listed below and are available as electronic texts linked to this syllabus.  Students who wish to access the readings electronically from off-campus computers will need VPN software to do so.  Students are expected to come to class having done the required readings, and may benefit from looking at some of the optional readings listed below as well. 

course requirements: Final grades will be based on a combination of written work, class participation, quizzes, and a final examination.  Students will be evaluated on their ability to explain and critique the arguments covered in the course, and not on whether they agree or disagree with them.
        1. papers (50 percent of final grade): students will write two 7-8 pp. papers, each of which is worth 25 percent of the final grade.  The first paper is due on Tuesday,. March 10 and the second paper is due on Thursday, April 30.  Papers must be submitted as Word documents through by 5:00 p.m. on the day they are due.  For information about how to submit a paper through, click here.  Students may submit rough drafts for comments in advance of each deadline (by e-mailing them to me, not via, and I will make every reasonable effort to provide such feedback in a timely manner, but students do not have the option of rewriting their paper or doing anything else to earn extra credit after the papers have been graded.  Papers that are submitted late without a legitimate excuse will be marked down one half-grade (e.g, from a B to a B-) for every day that they are late.  Be sure to include your name on the front page of the paper.  For further details on the writing assingments for this course, click here .
        2. class participation (10 percent of final grade): participation will count for 10 percent of the final grade.  Class participation requires, at a minimum, regularly attending class.  In addition, to earn full credit for participation, students must be actively engaged in the course, where this is construed broadly to include conversations with me during office hours and correspondence via e-mail, as well as contributions to class discussion.
       3. quizzes (30 percent of final grade): students will take three in-class quizzes.  The quizzes will come at the end of units 2, 3 and 5.  They are currently scheduled for Feb 9, Mar 2, and Apr 13, but the dates will be changed (with changes announced ahead of time) if the amount of time we spend in class on the corresponding units changes.  The quizzes will cover material from the required readings as well as information that was provided in lecture and that arose during class discussion.
        4. final examination (10 percent of final grade): the final exam will count for 10 percent of the final grade.  The exam will involve a combination of short answer questions and short essay questions and will cover material from the entire semester.  Students will be required to answer short essay questions about issues other than those they wrote their two 7-8 pp. papers on.  The exam will be held on Wed., May 6, 7:30 - 10:00 p.m, in  Hale 260.  

additional policies: click here for information on policies regarding the honor code, classroom environment, disabilities, religious observances, and discrimination and harassment.

1. introduction (Jan 12-14)
    1.1 overview (Jan 12)
    1.2 how to think about race philosophically (Jan 14)
2. Slave Reparations (Jan 16-Feb 11)
    2.1 background on slave reparations
       David Lyons, "The Role of the Federal Government in Slavery and Jim Crow" (section II) (2004)
    2.2 arguments for slave reparations 
       Robert Fullinwider, The Case for Reparations" (2000)
       Randall Robinson, "America's Debt to Blacks" (2000)
       Taniecea.Arceneaux, “Reparations for Slavery: A Cause for Reparations, a Case Against David Horowitz (2005) (read this after reading Howoritz in 2.3)    
       Ernest Allen, Jr. and Robert Chrisman, "Ten Reasons: A Response to David Horowitz" (2001) (read this after reading Howoritz in 2.3)  
       Wilton D. Alston and Walter E. Block, "Reparations, Once Again" (2008)
    2.3 arguments against slave reparations
       David Horowitz, "Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks - and Racist Too" (2001) 
       Paul M Hughes, "Rectification and Reparation: What Does Citizen Responsibility Require?" (2004)
       Walter Williams, "The Legacy of Slavery Hustle" (2001)
       Peter Flaherty and John Carlisle, The Case Against Slave Reparations (2004)
    2.4 further optional readings on slave reparations
       Stephen Winter, "Uncertain Justice: History and Reparations" (2006)
       Robert K Fullinwider, "The Reparations Argument: A Reply" (2004)
       Chandran Kukathas, "Who? Whom? Reparations and the Problem of Agency" (2006)
       Walter Block, "On Reparations to Blacks for Slavery" (2002)
       David Boonin, "Repairing the Slave Reparations Debate" (draft)
       David Boonin, "Advancing the Slave Reparations Debate" (draft)

QUIZ #1: Feb 13

3. affirmative action (Feb 16 - Mar. 6)
    3.1 background on affirmative action
       Robert Fullinwider, "Affirmative Action" (2001; revised 2005)
    3.2arguments for affirmative action
       Kenneth Einar Himma, "Discrimination and Disidentification: The Fair-Start Defense of Affirmative Action" (2001)
       Andrew Valls, "The Libertarian Case for Affirmative Action" (1999) (Gale)  
       Joseph LeFevre, "The Value of Diversity: A Justification of Affirmative Action" (2003) (Wiley InterScience)
       Sarah Stroud, "The Aim of Affirmative Action" (1999)
    3.3 arguments against affirmative action
       Lisa Newton, "Reverse Discrimination as Unjustified" (1973)
       Louis Pojman, "The Case Against Affirmative Action" (1998)
       Carl Cohen, "“Preference by Race in University Admissions and the Quest for Diversity" (1998)
       Robert J. Corry, "Affirmative Action: An Innocent Generation's Equalit Sacrificed" (1996)   
3.4 further optional readings on affirmative action
       Lisa Newton, "A Fair Defense of a False Start: A Reply to Kenneth Himma" (2001)
       Kenneth Einar Himma, "It's the Rationale that Counts: A Reply to Newton" (2002)
       Mane Hajdin, "Affirmative Action, Old and New" (2002)
       Stephen Kershnar, "Race as a Factor in University Admissions" (2007)
       David Boonin, "Two Cheers for Affirmative Action" (draft)

QUIZ #2: Mar. 9

PAPER #1: due Mar. 10.

4. Racial Profiling (Mar. 11 - 20)
    4.1 background on racial profiling
       Department of Justice, "Fact Sheet: Racial Profiling" (2003)
       Lori Hope, "Did I Save Lives or Engage in Profiling?"
       Kit R. "A Risky Trip Through 'White Man's Pass'" (2001)
       Heather Mac Donald, The Myth of Racial Profiling" (2001)
       David Frum, "Support Your Police" (2003)
    4.2 arguments for racial profiling
       John Derbyshire, "In Defense of Racial Profiling" (2001)
       Richard Lowry, "Profiles in Cowardice" (2002)
       Walter E. Williams, "Racial Profiling" (2001)
       John H. Fund, "Profiling Encouraged" (2006)
       Charles Krauthammer.  "The Case for Profiling" (2002)
     4.3 arguments against racial profiling
       Kim Zetter, "Why Racial Profiling Doesn't Work" (2005)
       William Anderson and Gene Callahan, "The Roots of Racial Profiling" (2001)
       Jack Glaser, "The Fallacy of Racial Profiling" (2001)
       Tracey Maclin, "Fourth Amendment on the Freeway," (2001) (read pp. 117-30)
       Dinesh D'Souza, "When Discrimination Makes Sense" (1999)
    4.4 optional further readings on racial profiling
       Peter Beinart, "Off-Color" (2002)
       James Forman, Jr.  "Arrested Development" (2001)
       Jan Golab, "Probable Cause" (1999)
       Ian Ayres, "The LAPD and racial profiling" (2008)
       Ian Ayres and Jonathan Borowsky, "A Study of Racially Disparate Outcomes in the Los Angeles Police Department" (2008)
       Harry G. Levine and Deborah Peterson Small, Marijunana Arrest Crusade (2008)
       David Boonin, "What's Wrong with Racial Profiling?" (draft)

5. hate speech codes (Mar 30-Apr 10)
    5.1 background on hate speech codes
       Kevin Boyle, "Hate Speech -- The United States Versus the Rest of the World?" (2001)
       First Amendment Center, "Hate Speech and Campus Speech Codes"
    5.2 arguments for hate speech codes
       Richard Delgado, "Words That Wound: A Tort Action for Racial Insults, Epithets, and Name-Calling" (1982) (HeinOnline)
       Andrew Altman, "Liberalism and Campus Hate Speech: A Philosophical Examination" (1993)
    5.3 arguments against hate speech codes
       Nadine Strossen, "Incitement to Hatred: Should There Be a Limit?" (2001)
       Larry Alexander, "Banning Hate Speech and the Sticks and Stones Defense" (1996)
    5.4 further optional readings on hate speech codes
       Marjorie Heins, "Banning Words: A Comment on 'Words that Wound" (1983) (HeinOnline)
       Richard Delgado, "Professor Delgado Replies [to Marjorie Heins]" (1983) (HeinOnline)
       Philip N. Cox, "The Disputation of Hate: Speec Does, Pluralism, and Academic Freedoms" (1995)
       Claudia E. Haupt, "Regulating Hate Speech -- Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don't" (2005)
       David Boonin, "I Hate Hate Speech Codes" (draft)

QUIZ #3: April 13

6. hate crime laws (Apr. 15 - 29)
    6.1 background on hate crime laws
       Anti-Defamation League, "Hate Crime Laws"
    6.2 arguments for hate crime laws
       Christopher Heath Wellman, "A Defense of Stiffer Penalties for Hate Crimes" (2006)
       Amy R. Baehr, "A Feminist Liberal Approach to Hate Crime Legislation" (2003)
       Steven M. Freeman, "Hate Crime Laws: Punishment Which Fits the Crime" (1992/3) (HeinOnline)
       Paul H. Robinson, "Hate Crimes: Crimes of Motive, Character, or Group Terror?" (1992/3) (HeinOnline)
       Kent Greenawalt, "Reflections on Justifications for Defining Crimes by the Category of Victim" (1992/3)
    6.3 arguments against hate crime laws
       Heidi M. Hurd, "Why Liberals Should Hate 'Hate Crime Legislation' " (2001)
       David M. Adams, "Punishing Hate and Achieving Equality" (2005)
       Susan Gellman, "Hate Crime Laws Are Thought Crime Laws" (1992/3) (HeinOnline)
       David Goldberger, "Hate Crime Laws and Their Impact on the First Amendment" (1992/3) (HeinOnline)
       Michael S. Greve, "Hate Crimes and Hypocrisy" (1992/3) (HeinOnline)
       Gregory R. Nearpass, "The Overlooked Constitutional Objection and Practical Concerns to Penalty-Enhancement Provisions of Hate Crime Legislation" (2002)  (LegalTrac)
    6.4 further optional readings on hate crime laws
        Claudia Card, "Is Penalty Enhancement a Sound Idea?" (2001)
        Dan M. Kahan, "Two Liberal Fallacies in the Hate Crimes Debate" (2001)
        Symposium: "Penalty Enhancement for Hate Crimes"  Criminal Justice Ethics (1992) (HeinOnline)
Frances M. Kamm, "Philosophical Inquiry into Penalty Enhancement" (1992/3) (HeinOnline)
        David Boonin, "Against the Bias Against the Bias Against Bias Crimes" (draft)


7. Conclusion and Review (May 1)

FINAL EXAM: May 6, 7:30-10:00 pm, in Hale 260

online resources:

    Encyclopedia of Race and Racism
    Race, Racism, and the Law