Naomi Zack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Naomi Zack
Era21st-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolContinental philosophy[1]
InstitutionsUniversity of Oregon
Main interests
Critical race theory, philosophy of identity, feminist theory
Notable ideas
Disaster ethics

Naomi Zack is a professor of philosophy at Lehman College, City University of New York (CUNY), having formerly been a professor at the University of Oregon.[2][3] She is a prolific author, having published nine books and edited five anthologies in addition to a large number of papers and contributed chapters in collections, particularly in areas having to deal with race, feminism, and natural disasters.[4] Zack has taken on a number of professional roles related to the representation of women and other under-represented groups in philosophy.[4] Zack is also a member of the editorial boards of multiple journals, including Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, The Journal of Race and Policy, Ethnic Studies: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Culture, Race and Ethnicity, and the Radical Philosophical Review.[4]

Education and career[edit]

Zack received her bachelor's degree from New York University in 1966, and received a doctorate from Columbia University in 1970.[4] She served as an adjunct assistant professor of philosophy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the 1990-91 school year, and accepted an appointment as an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Albany in 1998.[4] She accepted an appointment as an affiliated member in the Department of Women's Studies at the University of Albany in 1993, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Philosophy in 1998.[4] She was promoted to full professor for the 2000-1 school year (while she also served as the Director of the Doctor of Arts in Humanistic Studies Program), before accepting a position as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon in 2001. In 2019 she joined the philosophy faculty or Lehman College.[4]


  • Race and Mixed Race (1993)
  • Bachelors of Science: Seventeenth Century Identity, Then and Now (1996)
  • Philosophy of Science and Race (2002)
  • Inclusive Feminism: A Theory for the Third Wave (2009)
  • Ethics for Disaster in 2009
  • The Ethics and Mores of Race: Equality after the History of Philosophy (2011)
  • White Privilege and Black Rights: The Injustice of US Police Racial Profiling and Homicide (2015)
  • Applicative Justice: A Pragmatic Empirical Approach to Racial Injustice (2016)
  • Reviving the Social Compact: Inclusive Citizenship in an Age of Extreme Politics (2018)
  • Thinking About Race (1998)
  • Race and Ethnicity (2012)
  • Philosophy of Race, An Introduction (2018)
  • The Handy Philosophy Answer Book (2010)
  • As editor:
    • Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Race (2017)
    • Women of Color and Philosophy: A Critical Reader (2000)
    • RACE/SEX: Their Sameness, Difference and Interplay (1997)
    • American Mixed Race: Constructing Microdiversity (1995)
    • with Laurie Shrage and Crispin Sartwell, Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality: The Philosophical Questions (1998)

Research areas[edit]

Zack's research has ranged broadly over such fields as philosophy of race, philosophy of identity, feminist theory, and the history of philosophy.[2][4]

In Ethics for Disaster, Zack examined the social construction of disasters and attempted to produce a model of disasters and a cohesive set of "disaster ethics."[4][5] Zack assumes an optimistic view of the social contract.[5] Zack views governments not only as having an obligation to step in and assist after disaster has occurred, but also as having a positive obligation to plan for how to respond to likely types of disasters in advance. Zack views governments not as having an ethical obligation to provide their citizenry with the best assistance they can during a disaster scenario, but as having an obligation to provide them with the best assistance that the government could have potentially planned for.[5] Zack also goes to great lengths to highlight the differences in how "disasters" are portrayed depending on the political, racial, and socio-economic class to which they occur.[6]


  1. ^ Naomi Zack, Inclusive Feminism: A Third Wave Theory of Women's Commonality, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
  2. ^ a b "Naomi Zack | Department of Philosophy". University of Oregon. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Naomi Zack | Lehman College". Lehman College. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Zack, Naomi. "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). University of Oregon.
  5. ^ a b c Elliott, James R (2010). "Building the Road Ahead: From 'Ethics for Disaster' to 'Obligation from Disaster'". Review Journal of Political Philosophy. 8 (2).
  6. ^ Lawson, Bill E (January 1, 2010). "Zack, Race, and the Language of Disasters". Review Journal of Political Philosophy. 8 (2).