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Special Topics in the History of Philosophy: Race in 17th and 18th Century Philosophy

PHI 516

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We consider the problems of natural kinds, species, and nominalism in early modern natural philosophy and metaphysics, and study the way debates about these shaped discussion of human racial difference. We consider the modern effort to identify and name divisions within the human species as part of a larger process of naturalization, and thus confront the question of the relationship between science and racism. We are attentive to the role of imperialism and slavery in framing philosophical discussion of human diversity. With readings from Grotius, Leibniz, Garcilaso de la Vega, Jacobus Capitein, Linnaeus, and others.
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Section S01