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African American Philosophy (PHIL 1130)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course investigates, interprets and criticizes how Black philosophers understand and contribute to the questions of being, knowing and doing. You will examine the Black intellectual tradition on the meaning of race, identity, knowledge and justice. Particular attention will be given to the American experiment in democracy, the paradox of slavery, the problem of the color line and the predicament of prejudice and racial oppression. You will analyze the political ideologies of liberalism, feminism and nationalism, as well as political movements such as integration, black power and black liberation theology. You will develop skills of critical reflection and expository analysis.

Topical Outline:
1. Areas of African-American Philosophy: selfhood and agency; Black identity in relation to customs, institutions, and other social systems
2. Narrating the Black experience: from slavery to freedom
3. Contextualizing the Black experience: conditions of life, including political, economic, and cultural realities
4. Theorizing the Black experience: violence and social justice
5. History and critique of the Western philosophical tradition

Learning Outcomes:
1. Critically explain, compare, and evaluate major African-American philosophers and intellectual traditions
2. Analyze African-American philosophical perspectives and apply their theories in a thorough, logical manner
3. Critically explain how African-American questions and responses are embedded in historical and social discourse and movements such as slavery, racism, civil rights, and black power
4. Evaluate their own life and decisions in light of African-American philosophies and contributions

Prerequisites:  Placement into READ 1300 or completion of READ 0200 or ESOL 0052

  • Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Goal 7: Human Diversity