Was Kant a racist?

22 Aug, 2021 at 12:28 | Posted in Politics & Society | 6 Comments



  1. “Racism” is a term used to classify people who ‘hate’ people from other races, or skin color, or culture. The issue is not the term ‘racist,’ the problem is hate.

    • Kant’s early works that addressed race specifically, Kant did posit a cultural hierarchy of races and defined race by skin color. He was critical of all non-white races/cultures. The criticism of Kant by JS Mills involved the transposition of Kant’s terminology of persons into whites. In the 1790’s, Kant reversed his opinions about race in “Towards Perpetual Peace” and “The Metaphysics of Morals.” He denounced slavery and admitted that all races had the capability to sign contracts.

      The criticism of Kant, and subsequent philosophy, occurs because of German or continental philosophy’s complexity and authority which other cultures resented. The reasons that Germany began the First World War were not political. The main cause of the war was the vicious and rotten nature of all German culture because it had turned technological and modernist, e.g. warlike. This viciousness was the consequence of Protestant religiosity. Protestantism and its product, secular German philosophy, led to a purely phenomenal interpretation of the universe as a space destined for conquest and domination. Such an approach to nature is devoid of any ethical aspects and therefore caused the development of a militaristic consciousness and exploitative attitudes within German society towards the surrounding nations. This worldview was called “phenomenalism.” The highest and the purest expression of phenomenalism on the theoretical level was Immanuel Kant’s philosophy. Lukacs’s “Destruction of Reason,” for instance, describes the two world wars as caused by Kantian philosophy!

    • The term racist is actually used in a VASTLY wider sense than to simply refer to hate. The term is actually used to refer to almost ANYTHING which is romotely connected with race.

  2. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with racism if the word is used as per Oxford Dictionary definition: that’s basically the idea that some races are better than others. The latter idea is supported by the psychologists who claim some races have higher IQs than others.

    But while intelligent people define their terms, no one is interested in defining “racism”. Reason is that the word is the present day equivalent of the word “witch”: a word used in the Middle Ages to abuse any old woman people took a dislike to. No one had the faintest idea exactly what a witch was or what powers they had. And nowadays, no one has the faintest idea what “racism” is: it’s just an insult to toss around.

    • Is race even a meaningful category? Does IQ using the standardized tests used today have any meaning past good at taking this sort of test?

      • Is race a meaningful category? Yes: and for the same reason that the elements (hydrogen, helium etc) can be put into categories and dogs can be put into categories (Alsacians, collies, etc). That’s that members of each category have or tend to have obvious charicteristics in common.

        Do IQ tests show anything other an ability to do such tests? Yes: there’s a demonstrable relationship between IQ and ability at other tasks, maths and physics in particular.

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