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PHIL 362 Philosophy and Blackness

This course examines works produced by, and heavily influenced by, black philosophers, including historical and contemporary works by thinkers from Africa, the wider African Diaspora, the United States, and Europe. These works will draw our attention to the social construction of race and blackness, and we will dig into how and why black voices have been excluded, and continue to be excluded, from the traditional "western" philosophical and academic canon. Themes may include: philosophies of race and racism, identity, power and knowledge, colonialism, freedom and liberation, intersectionality, the disposability of black bodies, testimonial injustice, afro-pessimism, afro-futurism, and non-violence/whether or not violence can be justified.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective December 17, 2018 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Understand the importance of, and contributions of, black philosophers to the discipline of philosophy and the wider academic canon.
  • Identify and explain, at an advanced collegiate level, the particular social, economic, historical, political and discursive factors that are thought to influence the development of racial identity and racism, focusing on philosophical works produced by black philosophers.
  • Analyze philosophical work produced in Africa, the wider African Diaspora, the United States, and Europe, most of which is centrally concerned with race and racism.
  • Understand the historical exclusion of black philosophers from the discipline of philosophy and the wider academic canon, and consider what changes are necessary to undo these race-based exclusions.
  • Critically examine various aspects of racial identity. For example, is there something that can be called Black Identity?
  • Use the work of the course to reflect on personal beliefs and attitudes about questions of race and racism.
  • Develop communication skills necessary for displaying and acting on those beliefs and attitudes that facilitate living and working effectively and morally in a diverse society and for contributing to anti-racist projects.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.

Fall 2023

Section Title Instructor books eservices
01 Philosophy and Blackness Brito, Marisol Alhena Books for PHIL-362-01 Fall 2023 Course details for PHIL-362-01 Fall 2023