Late eighteenth-century writings on race by Kant and four of his contemporaries.
Kant and the Concept of Race features translations of four texts by Immanuel Kant frequently designated his Racenschriften (race essays), in which he develops and defends an early theory of race. Also included are translations of essays by four of Kant's contemporaries—E. A. W. Zimmermann, Georg Forster, Christoph Meiners, and Christoph Girtanner—which illustrate that Kant's interest in the subject of race was part of a larger discussion about human "differences," one that impacted the development of scientific fields ranging from natural history to physical anthropology to biology.
Jon M. Mikkelsen is Professor of Philosophy at Missouri Western State University.
"…Jon Mikkelsen does an excellent job with this material … He teases out the idea that race, while a modern concept, was being worked out even in the 1770s, and that it was an ever-fluid ideal. " — Portland Book Review
"This is a very important contribution for those who cannot read German and who wish to gain a purchase on the role of Kant in the highly contested domain of race theory and the less politicized but also contested domain of philosophy of biology … For Kant specialists and even more for a general philosophical readership interested in questions of race and cosmopolitanism, Mikkelsen's volume is a very welcome contribution. " — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews