Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference: Race in Early Modern Philosophy

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9780691153643: Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference: Race in Early Modern Philosophy

People have always been xenophobic, but an explicit philosophical and scientific view of human racial difference only began to emerge during the modern period. Why and how did this happen? Surveying a range of philosophical and natural-scientific texts, dating from the Spanish Renaissance to the German Enlightenment, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference charts the evolution of the modern concept of race and shows that natural philosophy, particularly efforts to taxonomize and to order nature, played a crucial role. Smith demonstrates how the denial of moral equality between Europeans and non-Europeans resulted from converging philosophical and scientific developments, including a declining belief in human nature's universality and the rise of biological classification. The racial typing of human beings grew from the need to understand humanity within an all-encompassing system of nature, alongside plants, minerals, primates, and other animals. While racial difference as seen through science did not arise in order to justify the enslavement of people, it became a rationalization and buttress for the practices of trans-Atlantic slavery. From the work of Francois Bernier to G. W. Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, and others, Smith delves into philosophy's part in the legacy and damages of modern racism. With a broad narrative stretching over two centuries, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference takes a critical historical look at how the racial categories that we divide ourselves into came into being.

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L'autore:

Justin E. H. Smith is university professor of the history and philosophy of science at the Université Paris Diderot--Paris VII. He is the author of "Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life" (Princeton), coeditor and cotranslator of "The Leibniz-Stahl Controversy", and a regular contributor to the "New York Times" and other publications.

Contenuti:

Acknowledgments ix
A Note on Citations and Terminology x
Introduction 1
I.1 Nature 1
I.2 Historical Ontology 2
I.3 The History of Science and the History of Philosophy 10
I.4 Aims and Outline 17
Chapter 1: Curious Kinks 24
1.1 Essence 24
1.2 Race and Cognition 28
1.3 Race without a Theory of Essences; or, Liberal Racism 32
1.4 Constructionism and Eliminativism 38
1.5 Natural Construction 47
1.6 Conclusion 54
Chapter 2: Toward a Historical Ontology of Race 56
2.1 False Positives in the History of Race 56
2.2 "Erst Spruce, Now Rusty and Squalid" 58
2.3 Race and Dualism 64
2.4 Conclusion 68
Chapter 3: New Worlds 70
3.1 "I Had to Laugh Vehemently at Aristotle's Meteorological Philosophy" 70
3.2 America and the Limits of Philosophy 72
3.3 Native Knowledge 78
3.4 Conclusion 90
Chapter 4: The Specter of Polygenesis 92
4.1 Libertinism and Naturalism from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century 92
4.2 Pre-Adamism 102
4.3 Diffusionist Models 105
4.4 Conclusion 113
Chapter 5: Diversity as Degeneration 114
5.1 The "History of Abused Nature" 114
5.2 Diet and Custom 123
5.3 Hybridism and the Threat of Ape-Human Kinship 129
5.4 Conclusion 138
Chapter 6: From Lineage to Biogeography 140
6.1 Race, Species, Breed 140
6.2 François Bernier's Racial Geography 143
6.3 A Gassendian Natural Philosopher in the Court of the Grand Moghul 149
6.4 Bernier and Leibniz 155
6.5 Conclusion 158
Chapter 7: Leibniz on Human Equality and Human Domination 160
7.1 Introduction 160
7.2 Chains: Leibniz on the Series Generationum 163
7.3 Chains, Continued: Leibniz on Slavery 170
7.4 The Science of Singular Things 183
7.5 Mapping the Diversity of the Russian Empire 187
7.6 Conclusion: Diversity without Race 202
Chapter 8: Anton Wilhelm Amo 207
8.1 "The Natural Genius of Africa" 207
8.2 Amo's Legacy 215
8.3 The Impassivity of the Human Mind 221
8.4 Conclusion: From Philippi to Kant 227
Chapter 9: Race and Its Discontents in the Enlightenment 231
9.1 Introduction 231
9.2 The Significance of Skin Color 235
9.3 Kant: From Non Sequitur to Critique? 241
9.4 J. G. Herder: The Expectation of Brotherhood 248
9.5 J. F. Blumenbach: Variety without Plurality 252
Conclusion 264
Biographical Notes 269
Bibliography 273
Index 293

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Justin E. H. Smith
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ISBN 10: 0691153647 ISBN 13: 9780691153643
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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 236 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. People have always been xenophobic, but an explicit philosophical and scientific view of human racial difference only began to emerge during the modern period. Why and how did this happen? Surveying a range of philosophical and natural-scientific texts, dating from the Spanish Renaissance to the German Enlightenment, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference charts the evolution of the modern concept of race and shows that natural philosophy, particularly efforts to taxonomize and to order nature, played a crucial role. Smith demonstrates how the denial of moral equality between Europeans and non-Europeans resulted from converging philosophical and scientific developments, including a declining belief in human nature s universality and the rise of biological classification. The racial typing of human beings grew from the need to understand humanity within an all-encompassing system of nature, alongside plants, minerals, primates, and other animals. While racial difference as seen through science did not arise in order to justify the enslavement of people, it became a rationalization and buttress for the practices of trans-Atlantic slavery. From the work of Francois Bernier to G. W. Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, and others, Smith delves into philosophy s part in the legacy and damages of modern racism. With a broad narrative stretching over two centuries, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference takes a critical historical look at how the racial categories that we divide ourselves into came into being. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780691153643

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 236 x 155 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. People have always been xenophobic, but an explicit philosophical and scientific view of human racial difference only began to emerge during the modern period. Why and how did this happen? Surveying a range of philosophical and natural-scientific texts, dating from the Spanish Renaissance to the German Enlightenment, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference charts the evolution of the modern concept of race and shows that natural philosophy, particularly efforts to taxonomize and to order nature, played a crucial role. Smith demonstrates how the denial of moral equality between Europeans and non-Europeans resulted from converging philosophical and scientific developments, including a declining belief in human nature s universality and the rise of biological classification. The racial typing of human beings grew from the need to understand humanity within an all-encompassing system of nature, alongside plants, minerals, primates, and other animals. While racial difference as seen through science did not arise in order to justify the enslavement of people, it became a rationalization and buttress for the practices of trans-Atlantic slavery. From the work of Francois Bernier to G. W. Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, and others, Smith delves into philosophy s part in the legacy and damages of modern racism. With a broad narrative stretching over two centuries, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference takes a critical historical look at how the racial categories that we divide ourselves into came into being. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780691153643

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference: Race in Early Modern Philosophy, Justin E. H. Smith, People have always been xenophobic, but an explicit philosophical and scientific view of human racial difference only began to emerge during the modern period. Why and how did this happen? Surveying a range of philosophical and natural-scientific texts, dating from the Spanish Renaissance to the German Enlightenment, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference charts the evolution of the modern concept of race and shows that natural philosophy, particularly efforts to taxonomize and to order nature, played a crucial role. Smith demonstrates how the denial of moral equality between Europeans and non-Europeans resulted from converging philosophical and scientific developments, including a declining belief in human nature's universality and the rise of biological classification. The racial typing of human beings grew from the need to understand humanity within an all-encompassing system of nature, alongside plants, minerals, primates, and other animals. While racial difference as seen through science did not arise in order to justify the enslavement of people, it became a rationalization and buttress for the practices of trans-Atlantic slavery. From the work of Francois Bernier to G. W. Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, and others, Smith delves into philosophy's part in the legacy and damages of modern racism. With a broad narrative stretching over two centuries, Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference takes a critical historical look at how the racial categories that we divide ourselves into came into being. Codice libro della libreria B9780691153643

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