Acta Cogitata: An Undergraduate Journal in Philosophy


This paper explores how various philosophers contribute to the discussion of the racial integration of public schools. I assert that racial integration is a moral necessity, and the government should create policy to ensure the successful integration of our public schools. To support this claim, I will first expand upon the context of the issue. I will then address libertarians, who would counter my thesis with a focus on the freedom of individuals. I will use utilitarian ideas to demonstrate that racially diverse public schools maximize the good in society; however, utilitarianism fails to explain what I believe is the crux of the problem. Therefore, I will draw on theories of democracy, the individual, and justice in the writings of Dewey, Kant, and Rawls to address the components of racial segregation that disrespect the inherent worth of human beings. Aristotelian ideas on what it means to be a flourishing human being will support my claim that segregated schooling is irrational, immoral, and contradicts the purpose of education. Finally, I will argue that civic virtue calls for unity and solidarity, which are vital to the optimal functioning of society and which are threatened when schools are racially separated.

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