Thanks Lou for the information. You are always on target.
Similarly, Paul Gilroy of Yale University exposed Hegel, Hume, Kant and other Enlightenment scholars' crude racism. See his "Against Race: Imaging Political Culture Beyond the Color Line", especially chapter 2, pp.54- 68.
Best wishes,

Louis Proyect <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Phil Gasper wrote:
> I obviously haven't had a chance to read Hind's book yet, and it
> certainly looks interesting, but unless the publisher's blurb is
> misleading (certainly quite possible), it seems to greatly oversimplify
> the complex legacies of the Enlightenment. Just two quick points.
> (1) While I would agree that people like Hitchens and Amis violate the
> values of much Enlightenment thought, some major Enlightenment figures
> defended slavery and colonialism.

Selection from Kant's writings in Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, "Race and the
Enlightenment: A Reader", pp. 58-64:

1. From Eze's preface to the selection:

While Kant himself edited for publication his lectures in anthropology
(Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View), he wrote, concerning his
lectures in geography, "it will not be possible, considering my age, to
produce a compendium from my manuscript." The following excerpts are
taken therefore from a posthumous edition of Kant's lectures, Political
Geography, in volumes 2 and 8 of Kant's Gesammelte Schriften (Berlin:
Reimer, 1900-66). In addition to insightful observations about Africa,
Kant's opinions on the geographical distribution of peoples ("the
tallest and most beautiful people…are on the parallel which runs through
Germany") and his hierarchically arranged "innate" characteristics of
the races ("The inhabitant of the temperate parts of the world, above
all the central part, has a more beautiful body, works harder, is more
jocular, more controlled in his passions, more intelligent than any
other race of people in the world" or "Humanity is at its greatest
perfection in the race of the whites") remain the same as in the



Another object which interests the archeologists would be a more precise
knowledge of Egypt. Besides, Africa deserves the most careful
investigation, and it seems to have been better known by the ancients in
its interior than by us, because they traveled more by land. Even many
of the coastlines of this continent are still unknown today to the
Europeans, and the center of the continent completely eludes our gaze.
It is only Egypt that we know somewhat more exactly, but even here what
we know is extremely little.

We have reason to assume the existence of a significant lake in Africa
into which the eastern, and not as otherwise believed the western,
branch of the Niger river flows. Incidentally, we also come across the
largest and most beautiful animals on this continent as well as the best
plants. According to some accounts, timid Portuguese believed the most
beautiful interior parts of Africa to be peopled with [African]
cannibals who even fattened humans up for slaughter. However, we should
not attach credibility to such fables so easily because experience has
taught us that these people only slaughter their prisoners of war whom
they capture while still alive, and then with great ceremony. . .
Whenever [Europeans] did not know much about the country, someone would
say that it was inhabited by cannibals, despite the fact that there are
very few of these kinds of people or even more correctly, none at all.

The number of names of countries and towns on the map of Africa is quite
considerable; but one would be much mistaken if one were to believe that
wherever there is a name there are inhabitants. . . The reason that the
interior of Africa is so unknown to us, as if they were countries of the
moon, lies far more with us Europeans than with the Africans, in that we
have made ourselves suspects through slave trade. The coast of Africa
is, in fact, visited by Europeans; but these journeys are very violent
because Europeans carry away each year between 60,000 and 000 Negroes to
America. Thus it has come to pass that even until modern times hardly 30
miles from the coast into the of this continent is known to Europeans…


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