Kant’s Role in Promoting Extreme Racism in Europe

Reza Sadeqi / Associate Professor in Department of Philosophy, Isfahan University

Received: 2018/11/02 - Accepted: 2019/08/16                                           rezasadeqi@gmail.com


Although Kant, in the history of philosophy, is introduced as the main architecture of modernity and as a philosopher supporting rationalism, morality and principality of the man, many works have been published on his role in promoting extreme racism in the last decades. In the present article, we have investigated the racist aspects of Kant’s view as well as its foundations and results. Materialism and relativism are two main foundations of racism in the modern age. Nevertheless, Kant is, in his racism, more influenced by philosophers such as John Locke and Hume who have defended racism in a legal and empirical framework. Of course, since he defends racism in a more detailed manner and justifies it as a necessity, he has the greatest role in promoting racism in the modern age and, thus, has been introduced as the founder of racism. We will argue, in criticizing Kant’s view, that his perception of the conception of ‘race’ is incoherent and non-scientific. The evidences Kant presents to show the essential difference of human races are invalid and tendentious, and finally racism, as one of the main factors of spreading aggression in the modern world, is not reconcilable with morality.

KEY WORDS: racism, Kant, Europe-centrism, nationalism, materialism, relativism.


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