Political theorists to debate how sex and race impact contracts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Political theorists Carole Pateman and Charles Mills will share their views on the roles that sex and race play in social contract theory during a joint presentation sponsored by the Warren Humanities Center at Vanderbilt University.

“Contract and Domination: A Collaborative Debate on Social Contract Theory” will take place 4:15 p.m. Sept. 23 in the Moore Room of the Vanderbilt Law School. A reception will follow.

Pateman, author of The Sexual Contact, and Mills, who was inspired by Pateman’s book to write The Racial Contract, are working together on a book tentatively titled Contract and Domination.

Pateman, a professor of political science at UCLA, and Mills, a philosophy professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago, challenge as incomplete the social contract theory, which maintains that individuals’ moral and political rights and obligations are set out by a contract between them and society. Pateman argues that there is a sexual contract that allows for the male domination of women, and Mills maintains that the racial contract sets out who is considered a full moral and political person based on race.

Additional support for the program is being provided by Vanderbilt’s departments of philosophy, political science and human and organizational development at Peabody College; the programs in African American and Diaspora Studies and in Women’s and Gender Studies; the Vanderbilt Law School and the Bishop Johnson Black Cultural Center.

For more information, call the Warren Center at 615-343-6060.

Media contact: Elizabeth Latt, (615) 322-NEWS

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