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Racist Philosophers

popculturepooka
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3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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dylancatlow
Posts: 12,246
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3/21/2015 12:27:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

Profound ideas do not require their author to be respectable. They must be profound in their own right, so that no authority is required to appreciate them. In other words, an idea is only worth considering if it might as well have been created by anyone. I also don't think that Hume's view is without merit, although that's another issue entirely.
popculturepooka
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3/21/2015 3:16:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:27:23 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

Profound ideas do not require their author to be respectable. They must be profound in their own right, so that no authority is required to appreciate them. In other words, an idea is only worth considering if it might as well have been created by anyone.

It's not about their author being respectable its about their ideas being tainted with racism.

I also don't think that Hume's view is without merit, although that's another issue entirely.

What?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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dylancatlow
Posts: 12,246
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3/21/2015 3:21:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 3:16:54 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:27:23 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

Profound ideas do not require their author to be respectable. They must be profound in their own right, so that no authority is required to appreciate them. In other words, an idea is only worth considering if it might as well have been created by anyone.

It's not about their author being respectable its about their ideas being tainted with racism.


That's not what you said in the OP. You were basically engaging in ad hom.

For example:
"Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. "

I also don't think that Hume's view is without merit, although that's another issue entirely.

What?

I'm saying that it's not unreasonable to think there are genetic differences between races, and that these differences are (to some degree) responsible for differences in achievement.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,285
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3/21/2015 3:58:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

I don't think so at all. I've been reading a few Arab historians, and there's a marked difference in analysis between those who actually visited the less developed areas of Africa and those who were just reporting hearsay. To a person living in the rarefied (and isolated) air of a European university, they would most likely be in the uninformed faction, and the view should be chalked up to reliance on ignorant, yet nonetheless (at the time) respectable hearsay on the matter.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
popculturepooka
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3/21/2015 7:16:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 3:21:46 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/21/2015 3:16:54 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:27:23 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

Profound ideas do not require their author to be respectable. They must be profound in their own right, so that no authority is required to appreciate them. In other words, an idea is only worth considering if it might as well have been created by anyone.

It's not about their author being respectable its about their ideas being tainted with racism.


That's not what you said in the OP. You were basically engaging in ad hom.


For example:
"Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. "


How is that an ad hom?

I also don't think that Hume's view is without merit, although that's another issue entirely.

What?

I'm saying that it's not unreasonable to think there are genetic differences between races, and that these differences are (to some degree) responsible for differences in achievement.

And to what degree are they responsible for differences in achievement?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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3/21/2015 7:38:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 3:58:21 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

I don't think so at all. I've been reading a few Arab historians, and there's a marked difference in analysis between those who actually visited the less developed areas of Africa and those who were just reporting hearsay. To a person living in the rarefied (and isolated) air of a European university, they would most likely be in the uninformed faction, and the view should be chalked up to reliance on ignorant, yet nonetheless (at the time) respectable hearsay on the matter.

I'm not so sure of this. During the time Hume was alive there were quite a few anti racist and abolitionists in his homeland - like James Beattie.

"Although the Essay on Truth is largely devoted to re-instating the rights of common sense in the spheres of epistemology and metaphysics, it includes a forceful critique of Hume's racism.

Hume's racism? To some, this phrase may have a strange and novel sound. After all, Hume is usually portrayed as a patron saint of the Enlightenment: a genial cosmopolitan, sweetly reasonable, unfailingly courteous and amiable, "as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature of human frailty will permit" (in the oft-cited words of his friend, Adam Smith). Yet in Hume's essay "Of National Characters," we catch a glimpse of a different side of le bon David. For there, in an infamous footnote, Hume writes:

I am apt to suspect the negroes to be naturally inferior to the whites. There scarcely ever was a civilized nation of that complexion, nor any individual, eminent either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufactures amongst them, no arts, no sciences ... [T]here are Negroe slaves dispersed all over Europe, of whom none ever discovered any symptoms of ingenuity.

In the Essay on Truth, Beattie condemns these sentiments: "These assertions are strong; but I know not whether they have anything else to recommend them." (III. ii). Beattie does not stop there. Beattie does not merely fulminate against Hume's racism with a self-serving show of conspicuous indignation; instead he rolls up his sleeves and adroitly dissects Hume's pro-racist arguments. (1) Beattie disputes Hume's basic assertions about the achievements (or alleged lack thereof) of non-European societies: "[W]e know that these assertions are not true ... The Africans and Americans are known to have many ingenious manufactures and arts among them, which even Europeans would find it no easy matter to imitate." (III. ii). (2) Moreover, Beattie says, Hume's reasoning is invalid. For even if Hume's claims were correct, his conclusion would not follow. "[O]ne may as well say of an infant, that he can never become a man, as of a nation now barbarous, that it never can be civilized." (III. Ii). Should anyone doubt this, he need only recall that "[t]hat the inhabitants of Great Britain and France were as savage two thousand years ago, as those of Africa and America are at this day." (III. ii). (3) Beattie is unimpressed by Hume's argument that "there are Negroe slaves dispersed all over Europe, of whom none ever discovered any symptoms of ingenuity." Beattie insists that this claim is unwarranted as well as false. But even if it were true, it would not justify belief in Hume's natural inferiority thesis, for "the condition of a slave is not favourable to genius of any kind." (III. ii). (4) While Beattie does not downgrade European achievements in the arts and sciences, he denies that they can be used to prove that European nations or "races" are superior. He stresses the extent that the achievements on which European nations pride themselves were either discovered by accident or the inventions of a gifted few, to whom alone all credit must go.

Beattie caps his rebuttal with two observations. First, his critique of Hume's natural inferiority thesis indirectly supports the cause of religion because such racism cannot be reconciled neatly with a true Judeo-Christian understanding of human nature. Second, Beattie stresses that his disagreement with Hume on the subject of racism is not merely theoretical or speculative. On the contrary, the dispute is intensely practical, for the natural inferiority thesis can (and frequently was) invoked to justify slavery - an institution that Beattie, a committed abolitionist, decried as "a barbarous piece of policy."

http://www.iep.utm.edu...
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
sadolite
Posts: 8,838
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3/21/2015 7:43:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Everyone is a racist, especially those who think they are not. They are the biggest racists of all.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,285
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3/21/2015 7:59:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 7:38:33 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/21/2015 3:58:21 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

I don't think so at all. I've been reading a few Arab historians, and there's a marked difference in analysis between those who actually visited the less developed areas of Africa and those who were just reporting hearsay. To a person living in the rarefied (and isolated) air of a European university, they would most likely be in the uninformed faction, and the view should be chalked up to reliance on ignorant, yet nonetheless (at the time) respectable hearsay on the matter.

I'm not so sure of this. During the time Hume was alive there were quite a few anti racist and abolitionists in his homeland - like James Beattie.

http://www.iep.utm.edu...

That depends on what precise arguments Beattie made, if he used examples at all. If he was refering to Abyssinian, Malian, Songhai, or even Berber, Egyptian, or Umayyad Andalusian advances when he referred to Africans, then Hume could still base his beliefs on Subsaharan civilization. There are good counterarguments to his other arguments as well (that subsaharan Africa had the same amount of time to develop). Overall, I don't think that Europeans had widespread access to the untainted data or historical knowledge at the time to soundly debunk such racism. It's easy to agree with Beattie, looking back with the knowledge which we possess today, but I don't think it would be nearly as easy to do so during his own time, and that's why I cannot indict men of that time period for holding such views.

Add to that the fact that the powers that be had a vested interest in maintaining perceptions like these, and it muddies the waters even further for those for whom this opinion is a peripheral matter.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
sdavio
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3/21/2015 10:49:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 7:43:43 PM, sadolite wrote:
Everyone is a racist, especially those who think they are not. They are the biggest racists of all.

I've heard that excuse before, but it really isn't true at all. A person who says they're not racist is actually less likely to be racist, lol. Compare a regular person to a KKK member or something.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
sadolite
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3/21/2015 10:53:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 10:49:42 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 3/21/2015 7:43:43 PM, sadolite wrote:
Everyone is a racist, especially those who think they are not. They are the biggest racists of all.

I've heard that excuse before, but it really isn't true at all. A person who says they're not racist is actually less likely to be racist, lol. Compare a regular person to a KKK member or something.

We agree to disagree
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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3/21/2015 11:18:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

What did Freud say about blacks? I mean, considering he was always talking about penises I can't imagine this is an area he would leave untouched.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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3/21/2015 11:19:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 11:18:40 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

What did Freud say about blacks? I mean, considering he was always talking about penises I can't imagine this is an area he would leave untouched.

Ohh man I didn't even mean to make that pun...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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3/21/2015 11:19:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

I'm curious though as to what Aristotle/Plato said that was racist?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
SargonOfAkkad
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3/21/2015 11:31:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Nietzsche wasn't a racist. Much to the contrary, he stood against anti-semitism in an increasingly Proto-Nazi Germany.
AFism
Posts: 1,030
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3/22/2015 1:26:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

Well... I wouldn't say that it "counts" against them. I would say that their narrow minded racist views makes their work narrow minded and racist. This is why we had to have black philosophers like Charles mills etc. because while belly gazers in the 1800's were chanting I think therefore I am, "negroes" didn't have time to belly gaze and think. Instead they got whipped and worked. They obviously had no problems deciphering that their bodies were separate from their former slave masters.

So I think you should take it somewhat seriously for its sole purpose: To understand a white mans reality, whether its sex related like Freud or whatever. I'm not denying some of the gems that are in these philosophies like, Plato's Allegory of the Cave: something that is relatable today actually! Or Aristotle's methods of learning! Those are all fine and dandy but to use all of the ideology and try to apply this to any non white persons life ( Ive been asked to do this in class) is kind of outrageous since many of these philosophers believed that those types of people were less than human. Even for a white woman the lines get blurred because women were regarded as property then. My point is most try to ignore the philosophers BLATANT RACISM and shortcomings and flower it up because this is regarded as the highest forms of civilization. I say acknowledge the shortcomings and only take it fully seriously when dealing with the reality and existence these philosophers were addressing and the society from which it came. Pick out the "gems" that you like and acknowledge it's narrow-minded philosopher and use that as a launching pint for your synthesis.
Bennett91
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3/22/2015 2:02:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:


I'm just going to leave this here ...

"Ibn Sina (Avicenna 980"1037), Arab"s most famous and influential philosopher/scientist in Islam, described Blacks as "people who are by their very nature slaves." He wrote: "All African women are prostitutes, and the whole race of African men is abeed (slave) stock."

http://www.afrik-news.com...
bossyburrito
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3/22/2015 2:43:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Why is that implausible? How is that any more implausible than excising from Aristotle the idea that women have fewer teeth than men while still accepting the syllogism? Why does the identity of the person who says something have any bearing on the validity of the statement itself?

Of course, if you're asking if, say, Hume's philosophy as a whole (including the statements that you're referring to) is affected, then of course, considering the portions you point out are false. If you're asking if Hume's ideas not related to race are affected, though, I see no reason to say that they are. They're totally distinct sets of ideas and their only link is who said them, which is irrelevant.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
bossyburrito
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3/22/2015 2:45:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 7:16:28 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/21/2015 3:21:46 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

That's not what you said in the OP. You were basically engaging in ad hom.


For example:
"Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. "


How is that an ad hom?

You're discrediting ideas solely because of irrelevant qualities of the person who said them. Hume's observations on race have no connexion to his observations in any other area.
#UnbanTheMadman

"Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights..."

~ Rush
Illegalcombatant
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3/22/2015 5:01:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

For simplicity let's focus on that paragon of "skepticism" and "empiricism", David Hume:

"I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites."

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. Lot's of these other philosophers also wrote a lot on human rights (but conveniently left out non-whites) - again, what do you do about this? Should this count against their views?

If Hitler pointed out that the earth isn't flat because over the horizon you see the top of the ship first does the fact that he is Hitler mean the argument is not a good one no ?

Of course not, arguments stand or fall on their own merits, not who says them.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
wrichcirw
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3/22/2015 10:22:54 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 10:49:42 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 3/21/2015 7:43:43 PM, sadolite wrote:
Everyone is a racist, especially those who think they are not. They are the biggest racists of all.

I've heard that excuse before, but it really isn't true at all. A person who says they're not racist is actually less likely to be racist, lol. Compare a regular person to a KKK member or something.

I disagree. I think sadolite is right, that there are degrees of racism, and to deny one's own racist tendencies probably points to that individual having a gigantic blind spot that, once analyzed, would probably prove to be a festering pool of racist ideology.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
YYW
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3/22/2015 10:44:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

Heidegger is probably the most offensive among theses...

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

I think it's hard to dismiss a person's work to the extent that it isn't based upon racist, sexist or homophobic views. But, there are some (like Heidegger) whose beliefs about race and ethnicity are really hard to separate from the rest of what he wrote, especially now that a number of his old journals have been discovered.
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Skepsikyma
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3/22/2015 11:11:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 2:02:01 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:


I'm just going to leave this here ...

"Ibn Sina (Avicenna 980"1037), Arab"s most famous and influential philosopher/scientist in Islam, described Blacks as "people who are by their very nature slaves." He wrote: "All African women are prostitutes, and the whole race of African men is abeed (slave) stock."

http://www.afrik-news.com...

Give me an exact quote (tell me what page of what work it's on) and I'll believe you. Until then, I've seen FAR too many outright fabricated quotes from Arabic philosophers, especially on race, to believe you. I've read the Muqadimmah, for example, and while Ibn Kaldun has some wonky views about the Zanj, he didn't say a lot of what was attributed to him, statements pretty much identical to your quote. He referenced Ibn Sina in those wonky statements (that the tribes in the area are 'excitable' because of the hot air, I think.), but never does he say that they make ideal slaves. Much of that was invented by white slave owners who were looking to justify the institution through appeals to authority. 'See, even the Arabs agree!'
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
sdavio
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3/22/2015 11:46:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 10:22:54 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/21/2015 10:49:42 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 3/21/2015 7:43:43 PM, sadolite wrote:
Everyone is a racist, especially those who think they are not. They are the biggest racists of all.

I've heard that excuse before, but it really isn't true at all. A person who says they're not racist is actually less likely to be racist, lol. Compare a regular person to a KKK member or something.

I disagree. I think sadolite is right, that there are degrees of racism, and to deny one's own racist tendencies probably points to that individual having a gigantic blind spot that, once analyzed, would probably prove to be a festering pool of racist ideology.

The moment I label a specific belief I have as 'irrational' should be synonymous with my changing it. The same should apply to racist beliefs. So it makes sense that racist and irrational beliefs should be a blind spot; and then it is a strange kind of false modesty to equate admitting the possibility of these blind spots with actively embracing them as an ideology, and labeling oneself a 'racist'. It's that kind of conflation which many extremely bigoted people I've met have used to try to rationalize their prejudice.

Like this: while many people who claim to be skeptics or rationalists indeed have minds which are "festering pools of irrational beliefs", it is another thing altogether to label yourself an "irrationalist" on that basis.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Bennett91
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3/22/2015 12:01:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 11:11:35 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/22/2015 2:02:01 AM, Bennett91 wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:


I'm just going to leave this here ...

"Ibn Sina (Avicenna 980"1037), Arab"s most famous and influential philosopher/scientist in Islam, described Blacks as "people who are by their very nature slaves." He wrote: "All African women are prostitutes, and the whole race of African men is abeed (slave) stock."

http://www.afrik-news.com...

Give me an exact quote (tell me what page of what work it's on) and I'll believe you. Until then, I've seen FAR too many outright fabricated quotes from Arabic philosophers, especially on race, to believe you. I've read the Muqadimmah, for example, and while Ibn Kaldun has some wonky views about the Zanj, he didn't say a lot of what was attributed to him, statements pretty much identical to your quote. He referenced Ibn Sina in those wonky statements (that the tribes in the area are 'excitable' because of the hot air, I think.), but never does he say that they make ideal slaves. Much of that was invented by white slave owners who were looking to justify the institution through appeals to authority. 'See, even the Arabs agree!'

Hmm good point. This source has page numbers, but the above quote is divided. Ibn Sina says they are slave stock, Osama bin Laden calls the women prostitutes. http://www.nathanielturner.com...
sdavio
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3/22/2015 12:02:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 10:44:10 AM, YYW wrote:
Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

I think it's hard to dismiss a person's work to the extent that it isn't based upon racist, sexist or homophobic views. But, there are some (like Heidegger) whose beliefs about race and ethnicity are really hard to separate from the rest of what he wrote, especially now that a number of his old journals have been discovered.

It might just be because his works are so convoluted, but I would actually say that it's much more difficult to find a connection between those beliefs and the rest of his writing. What could Nazism have to do with the Dasein, or 'Being-in-the-World' for instance? I've never heard a suggestion which didn't seem like a contrived ex post facto which would never have been imagined if the Nazi connection weren't revealed.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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3/22/2015 12:58:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 11:46:43 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 3/22/2015 10:22:54 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 3/21/2015 10:49:42 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 3/21/2015 7:43:43 PM, sadolite wrote:
Everyone is a racist, especially those who think they are not. They are the biggest racists of all.

I've heard that excuse before, but it really isn't true at all. A person who says they're not racist is actually less likely to be racist, lol. Compare a regular person to a KKK member or something.

I disagree. I think sadolite is right, that there are degrees of racism, and to deny one's own racist tendencies probably points to that individual having a gigantic blind spot that, once analyzed, would probably prove to be a festering pool of racist ideology.

The moment I label a specific belief I have as 'irrational' should be synonymous with my changing it. The same should apply to racist beliefs. So it makes sense that racist and irrational beliefs should be a blind spot; and then it is a strange kind of false modesty to equate admitting the possibility of these blind spots with actively embracing them as an ideology, and labeling oneself a 'racist'. It's that kind of conflation which many extremely bigoted people I've met have used to try to rationalize their prejudice.

Like this: while many people who claim to be skeptics or rationalists indeed have minds which are "festering pools of irrational beliefs", it is another thing altogether to label yourself an "irrationalist" on that basis.

This gets to the etymology of the word, does "racist" mean someone who "primarily" harbors and forwards racist sentiments, or does "racist" mean someone who harbors and forwards racist sentiments? I would think it means the latter. So if you're "not racist", that would necessarily mean that you are devoid of any racist sentiments whatsoever. I don't think such a person is possible to conceive in today's environment.

In your case of a rationalist, to say that one is "not an irrationalist" would inherently mean denying any sort of irrationality on their part. That would seem to be a very dangerous ideological position, IMHO.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
popculturepooka
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3/22/2015 1:00:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 2:45:53 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 3/21/2015 7:16:28 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 3/21/2015 3:21:46 PM, dylancatlow wrote:

That's not what you said in the OP. You were basically engaging in ad hom.


For example:
"Taking Hume - his whole schtick was that we understand nature and humans through experimental methods (like science) and observation. Seems like he really sucked at observing in a few areas. "


How is that an ad hom?

You're discrediting ideas solely because of irrelevant qualities of the person who said them. Hume's observations on race have no connexion to his observations in any other area.

I'm not discrediitng his ideas solely based on that but if he missed such an obvious counterexample to his "observation first" philosophy, it calls into question his observation faculties and data sifting/interpretation skills. I asked at what level should that count against his philosophy. (Btw his observation skills did suck in some areas, that isn't an ad hom to say that because I'm not saying it in lieu of an argument.)
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
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3/22/2015 1:18:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/22/2015 10:44:10 AM, YYW wrote:
At 3/21/2015 12:13:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
It should be something of a well know fact that many of the famous philosophers in Western tradition have also been racists - the list is really endless if you look into it (Kant, Voltaire, Jefferson, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Niestzsche, Mill, Hegel, Rosseau, Berkeley, Leibniz, Heidegger etc, etc).

Heidegger is probably the most offensive among theses...

Do their undeniably racist views "count" against taking most of what the rest of they say seriously? How seriously should we take these thoughts? I know people always try to say they can just excise the racist parts of these philosphers' philosophies and leave the rest in tact but that is implausible to me.

I think it's hard to dismiss a person's work to the extent that it isn't based upon racist, sexist or homophobic views. But, there are some (like Heidegger) whose beliefs about race and ethnicity are really hard to separate from the rest of what he wrote, especially now that a number of his old journals have been discovered.

That's what I mean. For example, Kant's moral reasoning as a whole seemed to just confirm any of his culture's biases (racist, homophobe, sexist, masturbation, etc.) - do we say "Kant's moral principles are seperable from his practical applications of his moral principles" or "the whole thing stinks because it consistently leads to false conclusions". Can one reasonably say if even a giant and super intellect like Kant's moral reasoning is so bad in so many areas then should we really be expecting more from people who aren't as smart? Can we ever say such a thing?

This is a more general problem with any sort of moral system advocated by philosophers but me focusing on the racism of many of the "greats" of philosophy will draw more attention. :)
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!