The Aristotelian Society

The Aristotelian Society

est. 1880

Symposium II

Racial Justice

Chaired by Meena Dhanda

Charles W. Mills | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | University of Oxford

Racial Justice

Charles W. Mills (CUNY)


‘Racial justice’ is a term widely used in everyday discourse, but little explored in philosophy. In this paper, I look at racial justice as a concept, trying to bring out its complexities, and urging a greater engagement by mainstream political philosophers with the issues that it raises. After comparing it to other varieties of group justice and injustice, I periodize racial injustice, relate it to European expansionism and argue that a modified Rawlsianism relying on a different version of the thought experiment could come up with suitable principles of corrective racial justice.


Charles W. Mills is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center. He works in the general area of social and political philosophy, particularly in oppositional political theory as centered on class, gender, and race. He is the author of over a hundred journal articles, book chapters, comments and replies, and six books: The Racial Contract (Cornell University Press, 1997); Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (Cornell University Press, 1998); From Class to Race: Essays in White Marxism and Black Radicalism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003); Contract and Domination (co-authored with Carole Pateman) (Polity, 2007); Radical Theory, Caribbean Reality: Race, Class and Social Domination (University of the West Indies Press, 2010); and Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Katrin Flikschuh | Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | University of Oxford

Philosophical Racism

Katrin Flikschuh (LSE)


Philosophical discussions frame the problem of race as either a social or a historical one; race is rarely diagnosed as a problem in philosophy. This article employs African philosophical writings to capture the distinctiveness of philosophical racism. I offer some remarks on the concept of race, distinguish between social and philosophical racism, and set out African diagnoses of Western philosophical racism, before considering possible responses to these diagnoses. I reject a blanket anti-racist prescriptivism and instead urge individual adoption of a research maxim that is responsive to opportunities for philosophical race reform as they arise within any domain of philosophical inquiry.


Katrin Flikschuh is Professor of Modern Political Theory at the London School of Economics. She primarily works on Kant's political philosophy and its relation to contemporary liberalism. More recently she has begun to work on modern African philosophy. From April 2014 to December 2017 she is Principal Investigator of a Leverhulme Trust funded International Network that seeks to engage African and Western political theorists and philosophers with one another. She is author of Kant and Modern Political Philosophy (CUP 2000, 2008), Freedom. Contemporary Liberal Perspectives (Polity 2007), and What is Orientation in Global Thinking? A Kantian Enquiry (CUP, 2017). She is co-editor, with Lea Ypi, of Kant and Colonialism (OUP 2014).

further info

future joint sessions

2019 joint session:

july 2019

2020 joint session:

july 2020

2021 joint session:

july 2021

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The inaugural address and symposia for the Joint Session are published in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, which is published digitally and in hardcover every June. The Supplementary Volume is sent to subscribing members of the Society in categories 4 and 5.

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The 2018 Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Cardiff University

past conferences

2017 joint session:

14 - 16 july 2017

2016 joint session:

8 - 10 july 2016

2015 joint session:

10 - 12 july 2015

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