Metropolitan State University

PHIL 366 : Race and Racism: Philosophical Problems

A. Course Description
Credits: 4
Lab Hours/ Weeks: Corequisites: None
Lecture Hours/ Week :  
MnTC Goals: Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies , Goal 06 - Humanities/Fine Arts , Goal 07 - Human Diversity
 
What exactly is a race? How have conceptions of race changed over time? What does it mean to say that race is socially constructed? What is the relation between the idea of race, racial prejudice and racial oppression? What exactly is racism? What is the precise nature of the harm of racism? What can and should we do about racism -- its historical legacy and its contemporary manifestations? This course uses the tools and methods of philosophy to examine a variety of conceptual and ethical questions about race and racism.
B. Course Effective Dates: 08/01/1998 - 09/05/1999 09/06/1999 - 05/04/2002 05/04/2002 - 08/23/2002 08/24/2002 - 08/15/2009 08/16/2009 - 01/09/2016 01/10/2016 - Present
C. Outline of Major Content Areas:
See Course Description for major content areas.
D. Learning Outcomes (General)
  1. Describe and discuss a variety of ways of understanding and defining race and racism.
  2. Identify and explain, at an advanced collegiate level, some of the social, economic, historical, political and discursive factors that have played a role in the development of the idea of race and in the evolution of racist practices.
  3. Explain and analyze different conceptions of social construction and, in particular, of what it might mean to say that race is socially constructed.
  4. Develop some sophistication about the kinds of evidence and arguments needed to justify claims about race and racism (claims, for example, about what is or isn┬┐t racist and claims about what a person or an institution or a society ought to do about racism).
  5. Use the work of the course to reflect on personal beliefs and attitudes about issues of race and racism.
  6. Develop communication skills necessary for displaying and acting on those beliefs and attitudes and for carrying on difficult conversations about race and racism.
E. Learning Outcomes (MN Transfer Curriculum)
Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies
    None
Goal 06 - Humanities/Fine Arts
  1. Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.
  2. Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within an historical and social context.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  4. Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
Goal 07 - Human Diversity
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  2. Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  3. Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  4. Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  5. Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.
G. Special Information
Racial Issues Graduation Requirement