In this issue we are looking closely at recent controversies in Kant scholarship and western philosophy. Following the pioneering work of Peter Park -”Africa, Asia and the History of Philosophy: racism in the formation of the philosophical canon 1780-1830” which followed on from the work of Robert Bernasconi, particularly ‘Will the real Kant please stand up’ Radical Philosophy issue 117 the issue is topical. Following Park’s work Bryan Norden has chimed in with ‘Why the Western philosophical canon is xenophobic and racist’ and there is Wulf D Hund’s important work “‘It must come from Europe’ the racism of Immanuel Kant’ and then Norden’s latest contribution ‘Taking back Philosophy’.
The first article reviews Charles Mills’ assault on Kant and shows why he misses his target because he fails to understand the role of Roman law concept of person in kant’s thinking. Roman law was the foundation of continental European legal systems and still current in Kant’s time in the canon law (law applicable to clerics).
In the second article a closer look at Kant’s anthropology and theory of history is taken which shows that Kant endorsed genocide not only of Native Americans but of all non-white races.
But let it be clear we are not jumping on a bandwagon as already in 1972 I published an article ‘Philosophy and the Third World’ in an early issue of Radical Philosophy (issue no 3) making very similar points which is reprinted to establish that point. This early article, written while I was barely out of my teens as an undergraduate at Cambridge University, weathers well.
In the last issue we focussed on the work of AK Appiah and sought to show how he endorsed racism (part 1) and sexism (part 2) but only against people of African descent. In the final article we show that Appiah endorses genocide as it applied to people of African descent using the definitions from Raphael Lemkin which are generally accepted as the most valid.
We are pleased to publish a heart felt paper by Dr Wes Morris about the situation in Jamaica and how to improve the lives of Jamaican people. This paper highlights the effect of a lack of leadership on the country whereas the opportunities to turn the country around stand before it.