BA Philosophy, Connecticut College, 2016
Social, Moral, and Political Philosophy; Philosophy of Religion; Aesthetics; Phenomenology; Africana Philosophy of Existence; Philosophy of Education
PHIL 27543 Black and/or Human: On Humanism and Racialized Being
This course explores the relation between racialized being and humanity, with a focus on blackness. The histories of enslavement and colonization have been understood, fundamentally, as processes of dehumanization. The course seeks to address questions such as these: What is the conceptual basis of dehumanization, i.e. what (metaphysical, ethical, psychological, historical) conceptions of “human” act as the standards by which to measure the human deficiency of Black racialized peoples? What are the different meanings of the view that Blackness lacks being, when said by colonialists and when said an anti-racist intellectuals? What, in each case, is the exact argument? Is such an argument descriptive or also prescriptive? If the former, does it describe a mutable sociopolitical situation or a metaphysical truth? If the latter, what forms of conduct does the argument call for? What is an adequate response to dehumanization? Should one claim the status of the human, transform it, or reject it altogether? There are different answers to any of the questions in the literature. This course is a short survey of that literature.
Prior coursework on Critical Race Theory or consent of instructor.