chapter  3
15 Pages

Kant on Race and Transition

WithFrank M. Kirkland

This chapter examines the philosophical salience of Immanuel Kant on the race-concept and, on the contending views of the meaning of the famous saying of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Kant is regarded as providing the original formulations of the modern notion of "race." Kant's postulate of "germs" allows "race" to serve as a phenomenal expression of an empirical character based on an imperceptible predisposition enabling "race's" empirical reality to track it scientifically. Kant offers Of the Different Races of Human Beings as the account of the empirical reality of the race-concept, relying on hypotheses correlating the diversity of racial populations, given the unity of the human species, to geo-climatic areas around the globe. Determination of the Concept of a Human Race gives, on the other hand, a treatment of the empirical reality of the race-concept, defending it on grounds of monogenetic causes, subject to laws of nature, to explain the diversity within the unity of the human species.