UPDirectory Highlighted Philosopher of September 2016: Naomi Zack

Naomi Zack

Professor, University of Oregon


garden-4-nov-14AOS: African American Philosophy, Applied Ethics, Early Modern Philosophy, Existentialism, Feminist Philosophy, History of Philosophy, Pragmatism, Social and Political Philosophy

Naomi Zack received her PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University and has been Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon since 2001. Zack’s newest book is The Theory of Applicative Justice: An Empirical Pragmatic Approach to Correcting Racial Injustice (2016). Related recent books are: White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of US Police Racial Profiling and Homicide (2015) and The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy (2011, 2015). Additional monographs include: Ethics for Disaster (2009, 2010), Inclusive Feminism: A Third Wave Theory of Women’s Commonality (2005), the short textbook, Thinking About Race, 1998, 2006); Bachelors of Science: 17th Century Identity Then and Now (1996); Philosophy of Science and Race (2002); Race and Mixed Race (1993). In production is a 51-contributor Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race (2017).

Zack has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses at the University at Albany, SUNY and the University of Oregon, including ethics, existentialism, newly designed courses on disaster and homelessness, as well as seminars on race, early modern philosophers, the history of political and moral philosophy, and twentieth century analytic philosophy. Zack generally considers herself a common-sense philosopher, able to engage both abstract and real world problems with methods from a plurality of traditions. Her early work on race focused on the biological emptiness of human racial categories and the conundrum of mixed-race identities (especially black and white mixed race). But since 2010, Zack’s work on race has been more broadly concerned with concrete injustice and abstract theories of injustice that extend beyond race. Zack’s treatment of disaster emphasizes the ethical dimensions of obligatory preparation and her emerging scholarly work on home and homelessness proceeds from a class-based, contemporary cosmopolitan perspective, as does her treatment of feminist issues. Zack has organized the project on home and homelessness for the University of Oregon Philosophy Department, and maintains the multimedia website: http://homelessness.philosophy.uoregon.edu/.