The concept of race in Kant’s Lectures on Anthropology

Alexey Zhavoronkov, Alexey Salikov


In the course of the last 20 years, the problem of Kant’s view of races has evolved from a marginal topic to a question which affects his critical philosophy in general, including the anthropology and its influence on contemporary social studies. The goal of our paper is to examine the anthropological role of Kant’s concept of race from the largely overlooked or underestimated perspective of his Lectures on Anthropology. Taking into account the differences between Kant’s approach in the early lectures of the 1770s and early 1780s and the lectures of the late 1780s in the light of the development of the idea of race in Kant’s works, we will demonstrate that several key elements of Kant’s 1780s theory of race presented in his published works can be found in his early lectures. On the other hand, we will prove that Kant gradually abandons racial hierarchies and moral characteristics of races in his anthropological lectures of the late 1780s and in the Anthropology from the Pragmatic Point of View, shifting his focus to more nuanced descriptions of morals of different nations.

Palabras clave

Kant; lectures; anthropology; racism; nations; hierarchy; ethics; universalism; cosmopolitanism

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ISSN: 2386-7655


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