This book proposes an account of the place of the theory of race in Kant’s thought as a central part of philosophical anthropology in his political system. Kant’s theory of race, this book argues, is integral to the analysis of the “Charakteristik” of the human species and determined by human natural predispositions. The understanding of his theory as such suggests not only an alternative reading to the orthodox narrative we have seen so far but also reveals the underlying centrality of the notion of human natural predispositions in a way that is consequential for Kant’s philosophy as a whole. What is the impact of Kant’s racial theory on his philosophy and political thought? Is Kant a consistent egalitarian or a partisan Universalist thinker? Is he the symbol of racist prejudices of his time? What is the influence of his racial hierarchy on his cosmopolitan right? Or more simply, is Kant racist? From a systematic examination of Kant relevant writings, this book provides answers to these questions and shed light on two fundamental problems of his theory of race for moral philosophy, namely: (1) the completeness of the character of the White race and (2) the dispossession of the character of the beauty and the dignity of human nature of the Negro race. These two issues, unperceived from the “orthodox” reading’s perspective, however, uncovered by the “heterodox” reading, not only shape Kant’s race thinking from the beginning to the end of his life, transform his cosmopolitan right into a non-universalist form of right, but merely define Kant as a fundamental racist thinker since he developed the anthropology, the philosophy, and the politics of racism in a systematic way.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION: TOWARD A HETERODOX READING OF KANT’S THEORY OF RACE .-PART I: PROBLEMATIZING THE “ORTHODOX” READING.-CHAPTER 2: KANT ON RACE THE CURRENT DEBATE.-CHAPTER 3: CRITIQUE OF THE ORTHODOX READING PART II: RECONSTRUCTING KANT’S THEORY OF RACE.-CHAPTER 4: KANT, RACE AND NATURAL HISTORY.-CHAPTER 5: KANT, RACE AND TELEOLOGY.-PART III: KANT’S THEORY OF RACE AND COSMOPOLITANISM.-CHAPTER 6: KANT, RACE AND ANTHROPOLOGY FROM A PRAGMATIC POINT OF VIEW .-CHAPTER 7: KANT’S NON-UNIVERSAL COSMOPOLITANISM.-Kant’s Cosmopolitan Right as an exclusive form of right
Jimmy Yab is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Southampton, UK, and Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the Institute of International Relations of Cameroon.
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