« The Enlightenment's 'Race' Problem, and Ours | Main | Immanuel Kant and his Man-Servant Lampe »

February 20, 2013


George Gale

As luck would have it, it is not the case that "White guys can't jump".

Matt Crow

This is a very interesting and important project, especially as a way of writing philosophy and its history. I think Enlightenment as it had a history in the colonial, revolutionary, and early national US warrants inclusion here- none of the figures are Leibniz or Kant or Hume but they contribute to this question in very real and consequential ways.

In general, I'd be surprised if these titles aren't at least in the back of your head, but if not, Foucault's Society Must be Defended (trans.), and Pocock's Barbarism and Religion, v. 4 would seem to me to be essential if you have not already consulted.

Joel Eidsath

I'm sorry for the late reply, but I only just now found this article.

You mischaracterize my position. Your argument in the NYT was a "there once was an intelligent African" argument, and therefore terribly condescending to blacks. Anyone who lives in a majority black city (as I do, and you obviously do not), knows many intelligent and talented black people personally.

As to your argument here, Africa is of course a continent from which come many proud and biologically real peoples. These peoples, like most categories that describe things in the real world are messy at the boundaries. Other examples of mostly concrete categories with hopelessly tangled boundaries are: continents, colors in the visible light spectrum, dog breeds, religions, philosophical schools, etc., etc., etc. In fact, you could say that there are very few real world categories that are not messy at the boundaries. This combination of usefulness and messiness of all of our mental categories is what in fact creates philosophy.

Unfortunately your mischaracterization of me goes over the legal line into defamation once you refer to me as "racist" -- even with your rather technical description of the term. Unless you would like to receive a claim, I request a correction. You currently write from Paris, according to profile, and the libel law there is strict about these sorts of things.

More importantly than any legal justification, I will say point out that name-calling is hardly appropriate for anyone with pretensions to philosophy.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)