Philosophy 382: Philosophy of Race Dr. Jackie Kegley Monday/Wednesday 3: 00-5: 05pm Office

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-- Philosophy 382: Philosophy of Race
Dr. Jackie Kegley Monday/Wednesday 3:00-5:05pm

Office: Faculty Towers 103-D Spring 2015 –DDH 100G
Phone: 654-2249/2291 Fax: 661-665-6904



Office Hours: Wed. 8-10-; Tues. 1-3; Thursday 3-5 or by appointment.

This syllabus and other class materials can be found on Blackboard 9


  1. Robert Bernasconi and Tommy Lott (eds.) The Idea of Race. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 2001. (This text will be simply referred to in the class schedule as “IR”.)

  2. There are additional readings posted on Blackboard #9. There is also a book of these readings on reserve at the Library- it may be checked out for 2 hours.

  3. Presentation readings- also posted on Blackboard # 9. The book containing these is also on reserve in the library.


This course is a critical examination of the concepts of race and ethnicity and gender and the way these concepts inform identities as well as philosophical, moral, social and political issues. Topics discussed include the reality of race, and ethnicity, and the origins of these concepts and ways in which they interact and have changed through history and in contemporary times. Other topics include the definitions of various forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism, as well as discussions of the intersection of race and gender; race and genetics, race, gender, and health care; politics of difference and recognition; and racial and other justice issues.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course,

  1. You will have developed an understanding of concepts of community and diversity including notions of integration and assimilation in America.

  2. You will have developed an understanding of the cultural, political and economic frameworks of ideas of race and racism, racial classification, and racial justice as well as ethnic identity and classification and ethnic opportunities and discrimination.

  3. You will have developed an awareness of the increasing interdependence of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in American social, economic, political, and health care institutions and practices.

  4. You will have developed an understanding of the psychological, economic and social impacts of the problems of racism and sexism and other forms of discrimination.

  5. You will have developed an understanding of the theoretical and historical frameworks of racial beliefs and attitudes by examining the origins of these ideas and racial and ethnic classification.

  6. You will have developed the philosophical skills of advanced critical reading, critical writing, critical thinking, and research.

  • You will have developed listening and oral communication skills and especially skills in hearing others and responding in sensitive as well as critical ways.


Letter grades and their percentage equivalents:

94-100 =A 80-82=B- 67-69=D+

90-93= A- 77-79=C+ 63-66=D

87-89=B+ 73-76=C 60-62=D-

83-86=B 70-72=C- 00-60=F
Course Requirements
Summary of Grade Percentages:
Class Participation

  1. Reflections on readings for each class session.-15%

  2. Participation in the discussion board.- 10%

Class Presentation on a reading- 20%

Take Home Mid-Term Essay Examination- 25%-

Final Paper- This is a reflective paper on an issue raised in the course. – 30%-Due June 12- 5-7:30.
Your success in this course will be assessed by

  1. Class Participation (25%)

  • Participation and class attendance

This is a class in which we will share our observations, ideas, and critical reflections. In this process, we should gain a wider understanding of the philosophical texts and hopefully will learn much from each other. Attendance and participation are thus mandatory. If you must miss class for a legitimate reason, please contact me ahead of time. Each unexcused absence warrants a five-percent reduction in the final grade. In addition to the necessity of attending class, you need to come prepared. This means that you have to read the entire assignment, have thought about it, and are ready to discuss it.
Preparation for Class:

      1. Graded Short Reading Reflection Questions: - 15%-: To facilitate your understanding and analysis of the reading material, for each class you will be asked to write a brief 1-2 page reflection in answer to a question or questions related to the assigned essays for that class day.. These are due on the day of the assigned readings. Late reflections will not be accepted. Six of these reflections may be dropped.

      1. Interacting with the Issues- Discussion Board- 10%- Once a week a question will be posted on the discussion board relating to the topic or issues for the week. You are expected to visit the board and to comment on the question and/or on comments of your classmates. This participation will be graded as follows:

Content: Issue or Idea thoroughly discussed; incorporated into class discussion and related to class materials. 1- 6 points; no blog posted-0

Organization and Creativity: 1-4 points.

  1. Presentations and Written Analysis: (20%) Once during the quarter, each student is required to supplement a class discussion with a presentation of an article and to prepare an accompanying paper. A rubric to help you prepare your presentation is available and will be posted on Blackboard #9. For this presentation you are explore pertinent issues to complement and enrich the day’s reading and generally direct the class to a discussion of the issues and the most important questions they raise. In the paper you should analyze the arguments of the material you are assigned- state the major arguments in your own words, show what support the author gives, assumptions he makes and evaluate the whole. The paper should be three to five pages in length and is due within one week after the presentation. These presentation materials are in The Idea of Race, or on Blackboard #9. A notebook of the presentation readings is also on reserve at the library. The readings for the presentations are listed in the course syllabus and the presentation would be due that day and the paper one week after the presentation. These assignments could be the spring board for your final papers.

  1. Take Home Essay Exam- 30 %- This will be a take-home essay exam. This is due on will cover Topics 1-6. This is due on May 27th.

  1. Final Paper (30%) – Write an eight page paper on an issue raised in the class. This paper will give you an opportunity to explore a topic or idea or in greater depth than we are able to do in class. Your presentations may well give you a good base for your paper choice and research. This paper should be 8 printed pages not including bibliography. It should be a critical reflection on what you learned in your research including an evaluation of arguments and perspectives on the issue. Late papers are lowered by one full grade for each day late. This paper is due on Wednesday June 12th between 5 and 7:30 p.m.

Evaluation of written work

All written work will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Logical organization of paper 20%

Clear presentation of argument and sub arguments 40%

Depth and sophistication of analysis and use of supporting material 25%

Grammar, spelling, style 15%


Make-Ups: Make-ups will not be allowed. However, if you miss a deadline for reasons that are beyond your control (illness, car accident) you must contact me either before class or as soon as possible afterwards. The make-up may be granted upon proper documentation, i.e. a doctor’s note, receipt from the mechanic. Failure to do so will result in a zero grade for the missed assignment.
Office Hours

My announced office hours are an indication of when I can usually be found in my office. Occasionally other commitments will take me away from the office during these times, so for important matters it is best to set up an appointment in advance. Also, you should not feel restricted to seeing me only during scheduled office hours. I can meet with you by appointment other than my scheduled office hours at a time convenient for both of us. You should contact me in advance to cancel the appointment if you cannot honor the scheduled appointment. You may leave a message on my voice mail or with our department secretary, or you can email me.

Blackboard 9

I will post on Blackboard 9 the syllabus, topics for writing assignments, materials for the presentation, handouts, grades, and other announcements. Only the students who are officially enrolled in this class, and have a current CSUB ID will have access to the postings. The postings will be updated every week. I highly recommend that you check Blackboard 9 daily for updates.

Academic dishonesty (Cheating) is a broad category of actions that involve fraud and deception to improve a grade or obtain course credit. Academic dishonesty (cheating) is not limited to examination situations alone, but arises whenever a student attempts to gain an unearned academic advantage. Plagiarism is a specific form of academic dishonesty which consists of the misuse of published or unpublished works of another by claiming them as one’s own. Plagiarism may consist of handing in someone else’s work as one’s own, copying or purchasing a pre-written composition and claiming it as one’s own, using paragraphs, sentences, phrases, words, or ideas by another without giving appropriate citation or using data and/or statistics compiled by another, without giving appropriate citation. Another example of academic dishonesty is the submission of the same, or essentially the same paper or other assignment for credit in tow different courses without receiving prior approval from the instructors of the affected courses.
If academic dishonesty in any form occurs, I am required to notify the CSUB Dean of Students and CSUB Student Conduct Coordinator. A course grade of ‘F’ may be assigned or another grade penalty may be applied. Additional academic sanctions such a disciplinary probation, suspension or permanent expulsion may be determined by the student conduct coordinator. I take this matter of betrayal of trust very seriously. If you have questions about this, please ask.
Special Needs: To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) as soon as possible. Their office is located in SA 140, and they may be reached at 661-654-3360 (voice), or 661-654-6288 (TDD). If you have an accommodations letter from the SSD Office documenting that you have a disability, please present the letter to me during class or during my office hours as soon as possible so we can discuss the specific accommodations that you might need in this class. Please do let me know of any special needs that you might have.
Class Etiquette

Out of self-respect and respect for others I expect that during lectures or class activities you refrain from (1) private conversations, (2) texting on your cell-phone or receiving cell phone calls, (3) Using a computer during class time; and (4) leaving the classroom during the lecture-class session, and (5) starting to pack up your belongings before class is over. Such behavior is very disruptive and discourteous to your instructor and classmates. If you need to leave the classroom during the class session for a serious reason, let me know before the class starts and be seated close to the door.

Harassment Policy

Written or spoken statements that can be construed as harassment will not be tolerated and will be reported to the appropriate university office for proper legal investigation and action. This includes, but is not limited to, comments based on race, ethnic origin, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.


The following list represents a chronological order of the topics and readings for class discussions. Some changes (additions or deletions) may be made, depending on time contingency. Students will be advised in advance of any changes. - Note: There are two types of required readings: (1) Chapter readings from The Idea of Race (IR); and (2) Additional readings posted on Blackboard 9 under the heading “Additional Readings.”

Topic 1: Introduction
Monday: 3/10 Introduction of course material and Lecture on “Race, Ethnicity and Other Matters.”
Topic 2: Classifications and Categories
Wednesday: 4.1: Ch, 4: Johann Gottfried von Herder, “Ideas on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind.” (IR: pp. 23-26); and Ch 7: Arthur de Gobineau, “The Inequality of the Human Races.” (IR 45-53) and Thomas Jefferson, Chapter 15: “Equality,” from Notes on the State of Virginia. Video: “Race: the Power of an Illusion-Episode 2- “The Story We Tell.”-There will be class discussion on the film.
Monday: 4/6: –Ch.1: Francois Bernier, “A New Division of Earth.” (IR: pp. 1-4); Ch 3:Immanuel Kant, “On the Different Human Races (IR: 8-22 and Ch 6: G.W.F. Hegel, “Anthropology.” (IR: 38-44). Presentation # 1: Thomas S. Gossett, “”The Indian in the Nineteenth Century.
Wednesday: 4/8: What about Gender? Martha Nussbaum, “Women and Cultural Universals;” (Posted on BB #9); Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “Our Brains and What Ails Them,” (BB#9); Presentation # 2- Sarah Hoagland, “Lesbian Ethics,” (BB#9). Presentation # 3- Bell Hooks,” Black Women: Shaping Feminist Theory,” (BB#9).
Monday: 4/13 Civil Disobedience:Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention: Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions (1848); ” Martin Luther King, “Letter from Birmingham Jail;” and Caesar Chavez, “Wrath of Grapes Boycott Speech.” [BB # 9]. Presentation #4: José-Antonio Orosco, “The Common Sense of Non-Violence.” (BB#9)
If anyone is interested is a con-position on civil disobedience I recommend the book, Negroes with Guns by Robert F. Williams. It is about a resistance movement – a Negro community organized self-defense against the racist violence of the Ku Klux Klan. This is the story of this community, Monroe, by its leader Robert F. Williams. In addition to essays by Robert F. Williams, there is a piece by Truman Nelson, “The Resistant Spirit,” and two essays by King- “Hate is Always Tragic” and “The Social Organization of Non-Violence.”

Extra Credit Assignment: April 14, 2015- Dore Theatre- 7:00 p.m.- 29th Annual Kegley Memorial Lecture-Daniel Ellsberg (author of The Pentagon Papers)- “Why the United States Needs More Edward Snowdens.”-

Wednesday: 4/15: The Trayvon Martin Case: Categories of Criminality and Danger; Not Belonging: “Indignity and Death: Philosophical Commentary on White Terror, Black Death, and the Trayvon Martin Tragedy,” (BB#9) and “’Seeing Black’ Through Michael Foucault’s Eyes: “Stand Your Ground” Laws as Anchorage Point for State-Sponsored Racism,” (BB # 9). Presentation 5: Tracey McCants Lewis, “A Mother’s Pain: The Toxicity of the Systematic Disease of Devaluation Transferred from Black Mother to Black Male Child.”
Topic 3: Race, Science and Eugenics
Monday: 4/20:- Ch 7: Arthur de Gobineau, “The Inequality of the Human Races.” (IR 45-53); and Ch 8: Charles Darwin, “On the Races of Man.” (IR: pp. 54-78) and Ch 9: Francis Galton, “Eugenics: Its Definition and Scope.” (IR: pp. 79-83); Video: “Race: the Power of an Illusion- Episode 1- “The Difference between Us”
Wednesday: 4/22- Chapter 12: Ashley Montagu, “The Concept of Race in the Human Species in the Light of Genetics.” (IR –pp. 100-107); David Mickos and Elof Carlson, “Engineering American Society: the lesson of eugenics, Nature Reviews: Genetics 1: November 2000, 152-158- On Blackboard 9; and “The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment,” (BB#9) Presentation 6: “Stephanie Malia Fullerton, “On the Absence of Biology in Philosophical Considerations of Race (BB#9) Presentation # 7: M. Annette Jaimes, “Some Kind of Indian,” (Blackboard # 9);

Topic 4: Race and Culture
Monday: 4/27- Chapter 10: Franz Boas, “Instability of Human Types.” (IR: pp. 84-88) –and Ch. 11: Alain Locke, “The Concept of Race as Applied to Social Culture.” (IR: pp. 108-117); Presentation 8: Robert Bernasconi, “Ethnic Race: Revisiting Alain Locke’s Neglected Proposal, “(BB#9))
Wednesday: 4/29: -John Hoberman, Chapter 3, “Joe Louis Meets Albert Einstein: The Athleticizing of the Black Mind,” from Darwin’s Athletes: How Sport has damaged Black America and Preserved the Myth of Race, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997-(Blackboard #9) Presentation 9: Charles W. Mills, “But What Are You really? The Metaphysics of Race,” (Blackboard # 9) Presentation # 10: Gerald Scully, “Economic Discrimination in Professional Sports.”
Monday: 5/4: Cultural Impacts: Eugenia Kaw, “’Opening’ Faces: The Politics of Surgery and Asian American Women,” (BB#9) James Kyung-Jin Lee, “Asian-Americans in the Twenty-First century.” (BB#9)- Xiaorong Li, “The Chinese Woman: A female Object from Two Feminist Perspectives.” (BB#9) Presentation # 10: Victor. Hwang, “The Interrelationship Between Anti-Asian Violence and Asian Americans,” (BB# 9)
Wednesday 5/6:- Ch 13:W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Conservation of Races.” (IR: pp. 108-117); and Du Bois, Spiritual Strivings,” in The Souls of Black Folks (1903) Blackboard 9. Presentation 11: Dana Carluccio, “The Evolutionary Invention of Race: W.E.B. Du Bois “Conservation of Race” and George Schulyer’s “Black no More.”
Race and Political Ideology
Monday: 5/11- Karen Brodkin, “How Jews Became White Folks,” (Blackboard # 9) and F. James Davis, “The Hawaiian Alternative to the One-Drop Rule,” (Blackboard # 9) - Video: Race: The Power of an Illusion: Episode 3- “The House We Live In.” There will be discussion of the film in class.
Wednesday: 5/13 Ch 18: Michael Omi and Howard Winant, “Racial Formation in the United States.” (IR 181-212); Juan F. Perea, “The Black/ White Binary Paradigm of Race: The ‘Normal Science of American Racial Thought,” California Law Review-(BB#9) Presentation 12: Charles W. Mills, “White Right: The Idea of Herrenvolk Ethics,” (Blackboard) Presentation #13: Samantha Vice, “Politics, Moral Identity, and the Limits of White Silence.”
Monday: 5/18 : Eduardo Mendieta “Racial Justice, Latinos, and the Supreme Court,” (BB#9); Presentation 14: Stephen Hartnett, “Prisons, Profit, Crime and Social Control,”- (BB#9)

Topic 6: Racial Identity-Mixed Races/ Ethnicity/ Latinos
Wednesday: 5/20- Ch 16: Linda Alcoff, “Mestizo Identity.” (IR: pp. 139-160) Presentation 15: Linda Martin Alcoff, “Latinos, Asian-Americans and the Black-White Binary,” in Visible Identities: Race, Gender and the Self, Oxford, 2006- (Blackboard 9) Presentation 16: Behzad Yaghmaian, “Attitudes Toward Muslims After September 11,” (BB 9)
Monday- 5/25 – Memorial Day- no class
Wednesday: 5/27- Ch 17: Michael Hanchard, “Black Cinderella: Race and the Public Sphere in Brazil.” (IR: pp. 161-180); Presentation # 17: Linda Martin Alcoff, “Anti-Latino Racism,” (BB#9);
Monday: 6/1: Stephanie Wildman, “Reflections on Whiteness: The Case of Latinos (as) (BB#9) Presentation 18: “Notes of a Black-White Woman,” (Blackboard #9) Presentation 19: Martha Maloney, “Racial Construction and Women as Differentiated Actors.” (BB#9)

Topic 7: Whiteness and Ignorance
Wednesday: 6/3–Steve Martinot, “The Structure of Whiteness: Its History and Politics,” (Blackboard # 9) Presentation20: Charles Mills, “White Ignorance,” (BB#9); Presentation 21: Linda Martin Alcoff, “Epistemologies of Ignorance: Three Types,” (BB#9).
Wednesday: 6/9 -Shannon Sullivan, “Seductive Habits of White Privilege,” in Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege, Indiana University Press, 2006. (BB#9.) Presentation 22: Alison Bailey, “Strategic Ignorance,” (BB# 9);
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