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2021 Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics and Gender

Kant on Race and 'Barbarism'

Oliver Eberl
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Oliver Eberl
Technische Universität Darmstadt

The widespread debate on Kant's theory of race has highlighted him as proponent - if not originator - of philosophical racism. Some authors argue that this finding is onesided and one had to take into consideration Kant's anti-colonialism to get the full picture. The then still existing tension between anti-colonialism is explained with a change of mind Kant had undergo between his middle and late years. This paper wants to address the tension in a different way. By addressing Kant's dealing with the original colonial topic of 'barbarism' the paper wants to demonstrate that Kant is well aware of discriminating views on the non-European people. The comparion with his dealing with 'barbarism' reveals Kant's intention behind the concept of race better and can show that it is in congruence with his egalitarian principles. As the main problem of the concept of race appears then its eurocentristic idea of the state.
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