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Should Race Matter?
Unusual Answers to the Usual Questions

$44.99 (P)

  • Date Published: November 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521149808

$ 44.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • In this book, philosopher David Boonin attempts to answer the moral questions raised by five important and widely contested racial practices: slave reparations, affirmative action, hate speech restrictions, hate crime laws, and racial profiling. Arguing from premises that virtually everyone on both sides of the debates over these issues already accepts, Boonin arrives at an unusual and unorthodox set of conclusions, one that is neither liberal nor conservative, color conscious nor color blind. Defended with the rigor that has characterized his previous work but written in a more widely accessible style, this provocative and important new book is sure to spark controversy and should be of interest to philosophers, legal theorists, and anyone interested in trying to resolve the debate over these important and divisive issues.

    • Discusses five race-related issues that are almost never discussed in depth in the same book (slave reparations, affirmative action, hate speech restrictions, hate crime laws and racial profiling)
    • Defends an unusual set of thought-provoking conclusions that is neither liberal nor conservative
    • Written by a professional philosopher but in a style that is accessible to general readers
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "David Boonin’s Should Race Matter? is the finest book written on the topic and should be required reading for anyone doing serious research in the field. The book contains new and powerful arguments, a comprehensive discussion of the literature, and is written in an organized and highly readable manner. It is superb. Boonin’s analyses of key issues in racial ethics are consistent, compelling, and surprising. For example, his discussion of affirmative action is a unique contribution to the literature and provides an insightful and wide-ranging discussion of the rights- and policy-based arguments both for and against this controversial program. This book, along with his previous books on abortion (A Defense of Abortion) and punishment (The Problem of Punishment), establishes Boonin as one of the most important philosophers in the world today."
    Stephen Kershnar, State University of New York at Fredonia

    "Boonin's treatment of this jaggedly emotional issue is meticulous, sober, and ultimately nonpartisan. There is no posturing, no demonizing - only a profoundly honest logic seldom brought to this topic, or any other."
    David Schmidtz, University of Arizona

    "… This is an important book that will be useful in potentially heated classroom discussions on race and public policy … Highly recommended …"
    T. L. Lott, San Jose State University, Choice

    "Boonin’s book is outstanding. It will reshape the discussion of these issues and is required reading for people doing research on race-policies … Like his earlier work on punishment and abortion, Boonin’s analyses are razor sharp, accessible, and interesting."
    Law and Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521149808
    • length: 422 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Thinking in black and white
    2. Repairing the slave reparations debate
    3. Advancing the slave reparations debate
    4. One cheer for affirmative action
    5. Two cheers for affirmative action
    6. Why I used to hate hate speech restrictions
    7. Why I still hate hate speech restrictions
    8. How to stop worrying and learn to love hate crime laws
    9. How to keep on loving hate crime laws
    10. Is racial profiling irrational?
    11. Is racial profiling immoral?

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • African American Philosophy
    • Constitutional Law ll
    • Intro to Ethics or Contemporary Moral Issues
    • Philosophy of Race and Gender
    • Philosophy of Race and Racism
    • Race, Racism, and Philosophy
    • Topics in Applied Ethics
  • Author

    David Boonin, University of Colorado, Boulder
    David Boonin is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado. He is the author of Thomas Hobbes and the Science of Moral Virtue (1994) and the prize-winning books A Defense of Abortion (2002) and The Problem of Punishment (2009), all of which were published by Cambridge University Press. He is also the author of a number of articles on issues in applied ethics and the co-editor of the popular applied ethics textbook What's Wrong? (2009).

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