NATURE HUMAN NATURE AND HUMAN DIFFERENCE RACE IN EARLY MODERN PHILOSOPHY

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Nature Human Nature And Human Difference

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 9781400866311
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 69.29 MB
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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 François 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.
Category: Philosophy

Nature Human Nature And Human Difference Race In Early Modern Philosophy

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 0691176345
Genre : History
File Size : 41.9 MB
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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 Fran�ois 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.
Category: History

Nature Human Nature And Human Difference

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 0691153647
Genre : History
File Size : 81.47 MB
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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 François 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.
Category: History

Philosophy And Its History

Author : Mogens Laerke
ISBN : 9780199857166
Genre : History
File Size : 32.64 MB
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Many chapters articulate new, detailed methods of doing history of philosophy. These present conflicting visions of the history of philosophy as an autonomous sub-discipline of professional philosophy.
Category: History

Divine Machines

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 140083872X
Genre : Philosophy
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Though it did not yet exist as a discrete field of scientific inquiry, biology was at the heart of many of the most important debates in seventeenth-century philosophy. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the work of G. W. Leibniz. In Divine Machines, Justin Smith offers the first in-depth examination of Leibniz's deep and complex engagement with the empirical life sciences of his day, in areas as diverse as medicine, physiology, taxonomy, generation theory, and paleontology. He shows how these wide-ranging pursuits were not only central to Leibniz's philosophical interests, but often provided the insights that led to some of his best-known philosophical doctrines. Presenting the clearest picture yet of the scope of Leibniz's theoretical interest in the life sciences, Divine Machines takes seriously the philosopher's own repeated claims that the world must be understood in fundamentally biological terms. Here Smith reveals a thinker who was immersed in the sciences of life, and looked to the living world for answers to vexing metaphysical problems. He casts Leibniz's philosophy in an entirely new light, demonstrating how it radically departed from the prevailing models of mechanical philosophy and had an enduring influence on the history and development of the life sciences. Along the way, Smith provides a fascinating glimpse into early modern debates about the nature and origins of organic life, and into how philosophers such as Leibniz engaged with the scientific dilemmas of their era.
Category: Philosophy

The Philosopher

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 9781400880577
Genre : Philosophy
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What would the global history of philosophy look like if it were told not as a story of ideas but as a series of job descriptions—ones that might have been used to fill the position of philosopher at different times and places over the past 2,500 years? The Philosopher does just that, providing a new way of looking at the history of philosophy by bringing to life six kinds of figures who have occupied the role of philosopher in a wide range of societies around the world over the millennia—the Natural Philosopher, the Sage, the Gadfly, the Ascetic, the Mandarin, and the Courtier. The result is at once an unconventional introduction to the global history of philosophy and an original exploration of what philosophy has been—and perhaps could be again. By uncovering forgotten or neglected philosophical job descriptions, the book reveals that philosophy is a universal activity, much broader—and more gender inclusive—than we normally think today. In doing so, The Philosopher challenges us to reconsider our idea of what philosophers can do and what counts as philosophy.
Category: Philosophy

Embodiment

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 9780190490454
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 58.3 MB
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Embodiment--defined as having, being in, or being associated with a body--is a feature of the existence of many entities, perhaps even of all entities. Why entities should find themselves in this condition is the central concern of the present volume. The problem includes, but also goes beyond, the philosophical problem of body: that is, what the essence of a body is, and how, if at all, it differs from matter. On some understandings there may exist bodies, such as stones or asteroids, that are not the bodies of any particular subjects. To speak of embodiment by contrast is always to speak of a subject that variously inhabits, or captains, or is coextensive with, or even is imprisoned within, a body. The subject may in the end be identical to, or an emergent product of, the body. That is, a materialist account of embodied subjects may be the correct one. But insofar as there is a philosophical problem of embodiment, the identity of the embodied subject with the body stands in need of an argument and cannot simply be assumed. The reasons, nature, and consequences of the embodiment of subjects as conceived in the long history of philosophy in Europe as well as in the broader Mediterranean region and in South and East Asia, with forays into religion, art, medicine, and other domains of culture, form the focus of these essays. More precisely, the contributors to this volume shine light on a number of questions that have driven reflection on embodiment throughout the history of philosophy. What is the historical and conceptual relationship between the idea of embodiment and the idea of subjecthood? Am I who I am principally in virtue of the fact that I have the body I have? Relatedly, what is the relationship of embodiment to being and to individuality? Is embodiment a necessary condition of being? Of being an individual? What are the theological dimensions of embodiment? To what extent has the concept of embodiment been deployed in the history of philosophy to contrast the created world with the state of existence enjoyed by God? What are the normative dimensions of theories of embodiment? To what extent is the problem of embodiment a distinctly western preoccupation? Is it the result of a particular local and contingent history, or does it impose itself as a universal problem, wherever and whenever human beings begin to reflect on the conditions of their existence? Ultimately, to what extent can natural science help us to resolve philosophical questions about embodiment, many of which are vastly older than the particular scientific research programs we now believe to hold the greatest promise for revealing to us the bodily basis, or the ultimate physical causes, of who we really are?
Category: Philosophy

Writings On China

Author : Gottfried Wilhelm Freiherr von Leibniz
ISBN : UOM:39015017426431
Genre : History
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Although Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is best known as a metaphysician, mathematician, and logician, he arguably used the word "China" in his voluminous writings and correspondence more often than those terms usually associated with him: "entelechies," "monads," "pre-established harmony," and so forth. If so, then his sustained writings on things Chinese -- especially on Chinese philosophy and religion -- should take their place alongside his other major works such as the Theodicy, Discourse on Metaphysics, Monadology, and the New Essays Concerning Human Understanding. His more detailed writings on China (as opposed to brief references to it, which he regularly made in his correspondence) can be roughly divided into two categories. The first is the letters he wrote to European -- usually Jesuit -- missionaries in China, or their peers in Europe. Especially is this true of his correspondence with Joachim Bouvet, one of the first French Jesuits to live in China, and whose letters to Leibniz clearly influenced the philosopher. -- Preface (p. [xi]).
Category: History

The Divine Order The Human Order And The Order Of Nature

Author : Eric Watkins
ISBN : 9780199934416
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 41.89 MB
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This volume contains ten new essays focused on the exploration and articulation of a narrative that considers the notion of order within medieval and modern philosophy--its various kinds (natural, moral, divine, and human), the different ways in which each is conceived, and the diverse dependency relations that are thought to obtain among them. Descartes, with the help of others, brought about an important shift in what was understood by the order of nature by placing laws of nature at the foundation of his natural philosophy. Vigorous debate then ensued about the proper formulation of the laws of nature and the moral law, about whether such laws can be justified, and if so, how-through some aspect of the divine order or through human beings-and about what consequences these laws have for human beings and the moral and divine orders. That is, philosophers of the period were thinking through what the order of nature consists in and how to understand its relations to the divine, human, and moral orders. No two major philosophers in the modern period took exactly the same stance on these issues, but these issues are clearly central to their thought. The Divine Order, the Human Order, and the Order of Nature is devoted to investigating their positions from a vantage point that has the potential to combine metaphysical, epistemological, scientific, and moral considerations into a single narrative.
Category: Philosophy