Please write three separate discussion posts. Two will be replies to other students’ comments and state whether you agree or not. Then one will be an answer to a question. Please look at the rules also.
The discussion boards will be open for two weeks, from Sunday morning (Monday at the
latest) until just before midnight on the Saturday two weeks later. You have plenty of time
to have a solid discussion, but get started early.
The discussion boards are (like other assignments in this class) not graded. However, like
attendance (where you are either present or absent—there is no in between), you either
complete the assignment or you don’t. There are two requirements for satisfactory
participation in the discussion board.
First: You must post three original, substantive thoughts. This doesn’t mean that you have
to make an original post and two replies. All three of your thoughts can be replies. But they
must be original and substantive. This means they cannot simply repeat what someone else
has said. Nor can they simply be something short like, “I agree!” Examples of original
thoughts would be: (a) a well-articulated argument in support of someone’s position, (b) a
well-articulated argument against their position, (c) a clearly-elaborated example that
supports—or contradicts—a view under discussion, (d) a well-phrased question that
redirects the discussion, or (e) some other type of contribution that moves the discussion in
a constructive way.
Obviously, I encourage you to post more than three thoughts. But we will not consider you
to have completed the assignment if you have not posted three original, substantive
Second: You must post something before midnight the Saturday after the discussion board
opens. This can be an original post, or a reply to someone else’s original post. But you must
post something within the first week so that there is time for discussion to develop over the
final week that the board remains open.
First Discussion Post :
Answer this question please.
Often, Charles Mills’s discussion of the racial contract intersects with issues of power and
epistemology; he writes that the racial contract essentially involves (for whites) an ‘epistemology
of ignorance’. How does the racial contract connect with some of the issues we discussed in the
first section of the course—e.g., power, dominant discourse, disqualified knowledge, epistemic
authority and privilege, etc.? How do you think Mills would argue that these factors—or some
of these factors—interact to generate the kind of ideal theory written by Rawls, Nozick, etc.—the
kind of theory that ignores issues of race and of other marginalized people? In other words, how
would Mills argue that these factors explain why academics produce ideal theory rather than
non-ideal theory?
Second Discussion Post :
Reply to this post: (either agree, disagree, add to their point)
The racial contract, as Mills would describe, is basically an agreement among white people that
allows the exploitation of ethnic and minority groups to further benefit white people. In a way, it
can be seen as a form of “justified racism and inequality” because the contract only caters to a
specific group of people. The factors that fuel it all come from a place of epistemic authority and
privilege, which gives it the power to play out. When a group of individuals is in a position
where they have the dominant discourse/power, they can abuse their place of authority by
bringing harm upon others, or they can use that privilege to benefit everyone. However, in the
racial contract, white people are abusing their powers.
I think that Mills might argue by saying that these factors always ultimately lead to the nonideal
theory, which explains why academics produce the ideal theory. When such factors of distinction
are eliminated, there would only be an egalitarian utopia. Injustices in society will cease to exist
(or be ignored) because everyone would be considered as equals without marginalizing another
group of people (the ideal world for Rawls). Essentially, this ideal theory is good in the sense
that people are seen as equals, but harmful in the sense that injustices (racism, sexism, etc.)
would be ignored. It would be similar to turning a blind eye and moving forward instead of doing
something about it which is just as bad as being unjust to others, because one would be taking
part in inequality when they choose to be a mere bystander.
Third Discussion Post :
Reply to this post: (either agree, disagree, add to their point)

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