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 : 0691153647
Genre : History
File Size : 46.17 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

Nature Human Nature And Human Difference

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 9781400866311
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 37.90 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

Philosophy And Its History

Author : Mogens Laerke
ISBN : 9780199857166
Genre : History
File Size : 42.2 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

The Philosopher

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 9781400880577
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 43.83 MB
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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

Before Boas

Author : Han F. Vermeulen
ISBN : 9780803277380
Genre : History
File Size : 83.70 MB
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The history of anthropology has been written from multiple viewpoints, often from perspectives of gender, nationality, theory, or politics. Before Boas delves deeper into issues concerning anthropology's academic origins to present a groundbreaking study that reveals how ethnology and ethnography originated during the eighteenth rather than the nineteenth century, developing parallel to anthropology, or the "natural history of man." Han F. Vermeulen explores primary and secondary sources from Russia, Germany, Austria, the United States, the Netherlands, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, and Great Britain in tracing how "ethnography" was begun as field research by German-speaking historians and naturalists in Siberia (Russia) during the 1730s and 1740s, was generalized as "ethnology" by scholars in G�ttingen (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) during the 1770s and 1780s, and was subsequently adopted by researchers in other countries. Before Boas argues that anthropology and ethnology were separate sciences during the Age of Reason, studying racial and ethnic diversity, respectively. Ethnography and ethnology focused not on "other" cultures but on all peoples of all eras. Following G. W. Leibniz, researchers in these fields categorized peoples primarily according to their languages. Franz Boas professionalized the holistic study of anthropology from the 1880s into the twentieth century.
Category: History

Divine Machines

Author : Justin E. H. Smith
ISBN : 140083872X
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 67.40 MB
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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 Life Sciences In Early Modern Philosophy

Author : Ohad Nachtomy
ISBN : 9780199987313
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 83.45 MB
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The present volume advances a recent historiographical turn towards the intersection of early modern philosophy and the life sciences by bringing together many of its leading scholars to present the contributions of important but often neglected figures, such as Ralph Cudworth, Nehemiah Grew, Francis Glisson, Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente, Georg Ernst Stahl, Juan Gallego de la Serna, Nicholas Hartsoeker, Henry More, as well as more familiar figures such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Malebranche, and Kant. The contributions to this volume are organized in accordance with the particular problems that living beings and living nature posed for early modern philosophy: the problem of life in general, whether it constitutes something ontologically distinct at all, or whether it can ultimately be exhaustively comprehended "in the same manner as the rest"; the problem of the structure of living beings, by which we understand not just bare anatomy but also physiological processes such as irritability, motion, digestion, and so on; the problem of generation, which might be included alongside digestion and other vital processes, were it not for the fact that it presented such an exceptional riddle to philosophers since antiquity, namely, the riddle of coming-into-being out of -- apparent or real -- non-being; and, finally, the problem of natural order.
Category: Philosophy

Leviathan

Author : Thomas Hobbes
ISBN : 9780141191232
Genre : Political Science
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The Leviathan is the vast unity of the State. But how are unity, peace and security to be attained? Hobbes's answer is sovereignty, but the resurgence of interest today in Leviathan is due less to its answers than its methods. Hobbes sees politics as a science capable of the same axiomatic approach as geometry: he argues from first principles to human nature to politics. This book's appeal to the twentieth century lies not just in its elevation of politics to a science, but in its overriding concern for peace.
Category: Political Science

Human Nature In Politics

Author : Graham Wallas
ISBN :
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 28.80 MB
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At first sight the main controversy as to the best form of government appears to have been finally settled in favour of representative democracy. Forty years ago it could still be argued that to base the sovereignty of a great modern nation upon a widely extended popular vote was, in Europe at least, an experiment which had never been successfully tried. England, indeed, by the 'leap in the dark' of 1867, became for the moment the only large European State whose government was democratic and representative. But to-day a parliamentary republic based upon universal suffrage exists in France without serious opposition or protest. Italy enjoys an apparently stable constitutional monarchy. Universal suffrage has just been enacted in Austria. Even the German Emperor after the election of 1907 spoke of himself rather as the successful leader of a popular electoral campaign than as the inheritor of a divine right. The vast majority of the Russian nation passionately desires a sovereign parliament, and a reactionary Duma finds itself steadily pushed by circumstances towards that position. The most ultramontane Roman Catholics demand temporal power for the Pope, no longer as an ideal system of world government, but as an expedient for securing in a few square miles of Italian territory liberty of action for the directors of a church almost all of whose members will remain voting citizens of constitutional States. None of the proposals for a non-representative democracy which were associated with the communist and anarchist movements of the nineteenth century have been at all widely accepted, or have presented themselves as a definite constructive scheme; and almost all those who now hope for a social change by which the results of modern scientific industry shall be more evenly distributed put their trust in the electoral activity of the working classes. And yet, in the very nations which have most whole-heartedly accepted representative democracy, politicians and political students seem puzzled and disappointed by their experience of it. The United States of America have made in this respect by far the longest and most continuous experiment. Their constitution has lasted for a century and a quarter, and, in spite of controversy and even war arising from opposing interpretations of its details, its principles have been, and still are, practically unchallenged. But, as far as an English visitor can judge, no American thinks with satisfaction of the electoral 'machine' whose power alike in Federal, State, and Municipal politics is still increasing. In England not only has our experience of representative democracy been much shorter than that of America, but our political traditions have tended to delay the full acceptance of the democratic idea even in the working of democratic institutions. Yet, allowing for differences of degree and circumstance, one finds in England among the most loyal democrats, if they have been brought into close contact with the details of electoral organisation, something of the same disappointment which has become more articulate in America. I have helped to fight a good many parliamentary contests, and have myself been a candidate in a series of five London municipal elections. In my last election I noticed that two of my canvassers, when talking over the day's work, used independently the phrase, 'It is a queer business.' I have heard much the same words used in England by those professional political agents whose efficiency depends on their seeing electoral facts without illusion. I have no first-hand knowledge of German or Italian electioneering, but when a year ago I talked with my hosts of the Paris Municipal Council, I seemed to detect in some of them indications of good-humoured disillusionment with regard to the working of a democratic electoral system.
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Africa Asia And The History Of Philosophy

Author : Peter K. J. Park
ISBN : 9781438446431
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 81.27 MB
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A historical investigation of the exclusion of Africa and Asia from modern histories of philosophy.
Category: Biography & Autobiography