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Naomi Zack

Naomi Zack profile picture
  • Title: Professor of Philosophy
  • Phone: 541-346-1547
  • Office: 239 Susan Campbell Hall
  • Office Hours: 1:00-1:50pm Monday and Wednesday during Fall 2016
  • Interests: Philosophy of Race (philosophy of science and political philosophy), Feminist Theory, justice/injustice theory, Disaster Ethics, History of Philosophy (17th c., early 20th c. analytic) ).
  • Curriculum Vitae


Have coffee with Professor Zack

I received  my  PhD  in  Philosophy  from  Columbia University and have been Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon since 2001. My 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 my edited 51-contributor Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race (2016-2017).

         My 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, my work on race has been more broadly concerned with concrete injustice and abstract theories of injustice that extend beyond race. Recent interviews about my critique of white privilege discourse include:, “White Privilege and Racial Justice,” Feb. 14, 2016,; Interview about critique of white privilege discourse on PRI, “To the Best of Our Knowledge,” Oct. 17, 2015.; “What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means,” Interview by George Yancy in New York Times, Opinionator, Stone. November 5, 2014.

       My treatment of disaster emphasizes the ethical dimensions of obligatory preparation and my emerging scholarly work on home and homelessness proceeds from a class-based, contemporary cosmopolitan perspective. But my work on feminist issues, particularly women of color feminism(s), is focused on theory. I organized the project on home and homelessness for the University of Oregon Philosophy Department, and maintain the multimedia website:


Please see my CV for lists of complete works. I am happy to furnish copies for academic use of published material I have on hand.

Course Links

Fall 2016
PHIL 433/533 Descartes and Locke

Winter 2017
PHIL 216 Philosophy and Cultural Diversity
PHIL 607 History of Political Philosophy

Spring 2017
PHIL 320 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 433/533 Sartre



I received my BA from New York University with a double major in Philosophy and Psychology. My PhD in Philosophy was from Columbia University. I wrote my dissertation on the epistemology of C. I. Lewis (the still-neglected conceptual pragmatist). (My interests have broadened considerably since then.)


         I have 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, homelessness, and cultural diversity, as well as courses on philosophy of race, author's courses on early modern philosophers, and graduate seminars on the history of political and moral philosophy, and twentieth century analytic philosophy.

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