This course will explore some contentious moral issues of our day, with particular attention to racism and sexism and their connection to these issues. We will first explore the nature of race, racism, sexism, discrimination, privilege, and oppression, paying particular attention to:
- individual acts of racism/sexism and the direct harm they cause to their victims,
- the ways in which racism/sexism gets institutionalized into systematic oppression that harms social groups and members of these groups qua membership in the group, and
- how victims of oppression might contribute to their own oppression.
We will examine some applications of each of these (e.g., hate speech, the practice of veiling). We will also examine philosophical debates about issues such as affirmative action, abortion, rape/sexual harassment, terrorism, and/or the environment, and see how race and gender issues may play out in these.
Grading will be based on three in-class assignments.
Readings will be based on either electronic reserves or a coursepack (no required textbook).