Bernard Boxill– 2017 Benjamin E. Lippincott Award Recipient

The Benjamin E. Lippincott Award was established by the Association to recognize a work of exceptional quality by a living political theorist that is still considered significant after a time span of at least 15 years since the original date of publication. The award is presented every two years and carries a cash prize of $5,000. It will next be presented in 2017. The prize is supported by the University of Minnesota.

Bernard Boxill works in social and political philosophy and African American philosophy. He is the author of Blacks and Social Justice (1984), editor of Race and Racism (2001), and is currently finishing A History of African American Political Thought: From Martin Delany to the Present, and Boundaries and Justice, on international ethics and distributive justice. Sample publications: “Morality of Reparations,” Social Theory and Practice (1972); “Self-Respect and Protest,” Philosophy and Public Affairs(1976); “The Morality of Preferential Hiring,” Philosophy and Public Affairs (1978); “Sexual Blindness and Sexual Equality,” Social Theory and Practice (1980); “How Injustice Pays,” Philosophy and Public Affairs(1980); “Global Equality of Opportunity,” Social Philosophy and Policy(1987); “Equality, Discrimination and Preferential Treatment,” in A Companion to Ethics, ed. by Singer (1990); “Wilson and the Underclass,”Ethics (1990); “Dignity, Slavery and the 13th Amendment,” in The Constitution of Rights, ed. by Meyer and Parent (1992); “Two Traditions in African American Political Thought,” Philosophical Forum (1993); “On Some Criticisms of Consent Theory,” Journal of Social Philosophy (1993); “The Culture of Poverty,” Social Philosophy and Policy (1994); “Fear and Shame as forms of moral persuasion in the thought of Frederick Douglass,Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society (1995); “Washington, DuBois, and Plessy v. Ferguson,” Law and Philosophy (1997); “Power and Poverty, the Prospects for World Peace,” Philosophical Perspecitives on Power and Domination, ed. by Bove and Kaplan (1998); “Power and Persuasion,” Journal of Social Philosophy (2001); “Kant and Race,” with Thomas E. Hill, Jr., Race and Racism,” (2001); “The Morality of Reparations, II,” A Comanion to African American Philosophy, Lott and Pittman, (2003); “The Backward Looking Case for Affirmative Action,” with Jan Boxill, Blackwell Companion to Applied Ethics ed. by Wellman, (2003); “Affirmative Action in Higher Education,” A Companion To The Philosophy of Education ed. by Blackwell, (2003); “A Lockean Argument for Black Reparations,” The Journal of Ethics Volume 7, (2003); “Why We Should Not Think of Ourselves as Divided by Race,” Racism in Mind, ed. by Levine and Pataki, (2003); “Rousseau, Natural Man, and Race,” Race and Racism in Modern Philosophy ed. by Valls (2005); “Lockean Arguments for Affirmative Action,” Contemporary Debates in Social Philosophy, ed. by Thomas (forthcoming); “The Counterfactual and Inheritance Arguments for Black Reparations,” Reparations for African Americans, ed. by McGary (forthcoming); “Derek Walcott’s One Endeavor,” Shibboleth: A Journal of Comparative Theory (December 2007); “Frederick Douglass’s Patriotism” The Journal of Ethics(Forthcoming); “The Duty to Seek Peace” Social Philosophy and Policy(Forthcoming); “Discrimination, Affirmative Action and Diversity in Business” in Oxford Handbook in Business Ethics edited by George Brenkert and Tom L. Beauchamp (Forthcoming); “Douglass and Hobbes on Fear Imagination and Slavery in Oxford Handbook on the History of Political Philosophy edited by George Klosko (Forthcoming); “DuBois and Douglass  on the Sorrow Songs,” in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy(Forthcoming); “Strategies for securing Self Respect: Martin Delany to Martin Luther King Jr. in Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther King Jr.edited by Timothy Jackson.

Bernard Boxill’s Blacks and Social Justice (Rowman & Littlefield, 1984) is an exceptional work of deep and careful reflection. Written at a time when there was little direct discussion of race within political theory and philosophy, Boxill’s book demonstrates the crucial importance of addressing questions of racial justice within mainstream political theory. It does so through extensive critical engagement with canonical authors in Western political thought as well as key figures in African American political thought, from Martin Delany and W.E.B. DuBois to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harold Cruse. Compelling us to broaden the range of texts we treat as rich sources of political theory, he productively puts historical and contemporary authors into conversation to address a range of pressing questions about discrimination in the market, busing, affirmative action, and the role of self-respect and civil disobedience in the pursuit of racial equality. In discussing these authors and themes, Boxill develops and defends his own distinctive liberal theory of racial justice. The book remains an indispensable source on the major racial issues of our time and an enduring model for how to combine rigorous theoretical argument with clear-eyed analysis of real-world controversies.

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