Title

When Knowledge Is Not Enough: Racial Ignorance and Understanding

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

Winter 2-23-2020

Department

Philosophy

Abstract

I argue that merely causing individuals to have knowledge of racial injustice and race relations in society is insufficient to prevent them from coming to hold false racist beliefs. I also argue that causing individuals to have understanding of racial injustice and race relations is sufficient to prevent individuals from coming to hold false racist beliefs. I suggest that if these two claims are correct, then educators should compose curricula such that they engender deep understanding of racial injustice and race relations in students.

I suggest curricula should include Charles Mills’ classic book The Racial Contract because this book involves explanations of racial injustice and why US curricula insufficiently invoke racial injustice. I also suggest that educators should include this book as part of a pedagogical approach that aims to make areas of study such as ethics and political philosophy take up the ethical and political realities students of color face.

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