Course Description

Course Name

Justice, Race and Class

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Ranking races and classes by intelligence or ?merit? from Plato to Jensen.

This paper is designed for those who are interested in problems that can be solved only by viewing psychology in the context of its relations with philosophy and other social sciences. These include the race and IQ debate, a proper theory of intelligence, how to defend humane ideals versus their opponents and the status of religious experience.

Course Structure
Jensen and The Bell Curve are used to show that psychologists study race and class without the necessary philosophical sophistication. Aristotle, Huxley and Skinner are cited as thinkers who tried to collapse moral philosophy into psychology. An overriding theme is whether a combination of these two disciplines can provide a defence of humane ideals. This culminates in a critical analysis of Nietzsche's anti-humane ideals. Full details available on Blackboard.

A research essay contributes 33.3% to the final grade; the remainder is based on a two-hour final exam.

This course is based on five themes:
-Race and intelligence
-Class and merit
-Defending humane ideals
-Our minds and God
-Ethics and three psychologies

Learning Outcomes
The realisation that universities do not educate enough beyond narrow specialisations and that students must supplement that by wide reading and thinking


Deary, I. J. (2001). Intelligence. Oxford University Press.
Flynn, J. R. (2008). Where have all the liberals gone? Race, class and ideals in America. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Flynn, J. R. (2009). What is intelligence? Beyond the Flynn effect. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Flynn, J. R. (2012). Are we getting smarter: Rising IQ in the twenty-first century. Cambridge University Press
Flynn, J. R. (2012). Fate and philosophy: A journey through life's great questions. Awa Press.
Flynn, J. R. (2013). Intelligence and human progress: The story of what was hidden in our genes. Elsevier.
Herrnstein, R. J., & Murray, C. (1994). The Bell Curve. New York: Free Press.
Rushton, J. P. (1999). Race, evolution, and behavior (abridged ed.). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

*Course content subject to change