2 thoughts on “Kant’s Categorical Failure or a Racialized Cosmopolitanism”

  1. “Menschenkunde: oder philosophische Anthropologie”was not published until 1831 by Fr.Ch. Starke. It is based on rather cursory manuscripts for a lecture on Anthropology – a science which was pretty undeveloped in the 1770s, both data- and methodology-wise. Kant never left the baltic town of Königsberg, he had no field experience and relied on what few and obscure facts about faraway countries were reported. Stuff like de Casas, Marco Polo, and the conquistadorian apologies. Note that there were no scientific expeditions until 60 years later, Darwin and v. Humboldt. Without reliable data any attempt at categorization of natural phenomena is plain guessing. As you see, biased/insufficient data, not a “false philosophy”.
    The “excellent theological critique” you mention is plain un-historic. The diverse churches positions at the same time are well-known and by no means less racist.
    Often the “heathen” verdict was devastatingly added.

  2. Dear MycroftH,

    “Biased insufficient data” has shaped false philosophy–of that I am convinced, especially when it comes to the concept of “race.” For more detailed studies on the topic dealing with Hegel and Kant, see:

    Bernasconi, Robert. “Hegel at the Court of the Ashanti.” In Hegel After Derrida, ed. Stuart Barnett, pp. 171-201. London: Routledge, 1998.

    Bernasconi, Robert.“Who Invented the Concept of Race? Kant’s Role in the Enlightenment Construction of Race.” In Race, ed. Robert
    Bernasconi, pp. 11-36. Oxford: Blackwell, 2001.

    Bernasconi, Robert.“Will the Real Kant Please Stand Up: The Challenge of Enlightenment Racism to the Study of the History of Philosophy,” Radical Philosophy 117 (Jan/Feb 2003): 13-22.

    Bernasconi, Robert.“With What Must the Philosophy of World History Begin? On the Racial Bias of Hegel’s Eurocentrism,” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 22 (2000): 171-201.

    Bernasconi, Robert.“With What Must the History of Philosophy Begin? Hegel’s Role in the Debate on the Place of India within the History of Philosophy.” In Hegel’s History of Philosophy: New Interpretations, ed. David A. Duquette, pp. 35-49. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

    Also, what exactly is your critique of J. Kameron Carter’s work, since you find it so plainly “unhistoric?”


    p.s. Unless you are interested in a constructive dialogue on this post, I have no interest in wasting my time with this.

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