Spring 2018

Seminar: Racial Justice and Injustice

Listed in: Philosophy, as PHIL-475


Rafeeq Hasan (Section 01)
Nishiten Shah (Section 01)


What is racism? Is it in the heart (a feeling), or in the head (a belief)—or both, or neither? Has it always been around? If not, why is there racism now? What is discrimination, and what is wrong with it? Are acts of discrimination and discriminatory institutions sufficient to explain prevailing forms of racial inequality? By what other mechanisms is racial inequality reproduced? Is the modern liberal state itself an institution of racial domination? What is the relation between racism and capitalism? 

Given racial injustice, what program of racial justice ought we to pursue? Are reparations for past injustice a necessary part of that program? How might we achieve the fair political representation of racial minorities? What is the connection between racial justice and other egalitarian ideals?

The seminar will be run in conjunction with a visiting-speaker series. Philosophers working on these issues will discuss with us their recent work on racial justice and injustice.

Requisite: Two courses in Philosophy or consent of the instructor.  Limited to 15 students. Co-taught by Professor Hasan and Professor Shah.

If Overenrolled: Priority will be given to majors, seniors, then juniors, etc.


Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018