Kant and Racial Discrimination, Ruhr- University Bochum, Feb. 24-25, 2022

Kant’s discriminatory statements and implications in some of his works, such as on physical geography, anthropology, and especially in his continuous theory of race, might shock those who are rather acquainted with or inspired by his prominent egalitarian universalism in moral and, in part, legal philosophy. Kant’s defense of racial hierarchy, his condoning of race-based chattel slavery (at least until the middle of the 1790s), as well as his account of various forms of racial, ethnic, sex- or gender-based and economic discrimination harshly contrast with his conceptions of equality, autonomy, and dignity of all human beings. In the last years, a growing number of philosophers and historians have focused on these contrasts and their systematic significance for egalitarian moral and political theories. Within the framework of this workshop, we will analyze some of these contrasts as well as how Kantians might deal with them.

PROGRAM (Central European Time)

Thursday, February 24, 2022

14:00: Log in and welcome

14:15–15:00 (including discussion)

Stella Sandford (Kingston University London):

‘Kant and the Natural Taxonomy of “Race”’

15:00–15:45 (including discussion)

Christel Fricke (University of Oslo):

‘Kant on Human Races and White Supremacy’

Break: 15 min.

16:00–16:45 (including discussion)

Ewa Wyrebska-Dermanovic (University of Bayreuth):

‘Kant on Race and Colonialism. How Many Thoughts Kant Had and how it Matters in the Current Assessment of His Work?’

16:45–17:30 (including discussion)

André Grahle (LMU Munich):

‘Kant and Racial Disgust’

Break: 15 min.

17:45–18:30 (including discussion)

Martin Sticker (University of Bristol):

‘Kant’s Ethics and (Cultural) Pluralism’

Friday, February 25, 2022

14:00: Log in

14:15–15:00 (including discussion)

Michael Zeuske (Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, Bonn):

‘Kant/Humboldt – Cosmopolitan Scientists and Philosophers and the Problem of Racism/Anti-Racism’

15:00–15:45 (including discussion)

Elvira Basevich (University of Massachusetts):

‘The Promise and Limit of a Kantian Republican Theory of Justice’

Break: 15 min

16:00–16:45 (including discussion)

Helga Varden (University of Illinois):

‘A Kantian Account of Intersectionality’

16:45–17:30 (including discussion)

Jordan Pascoe (Manhattan College):

‘Kant’s Intersectional Argument’

Break: 15 min

17:45–18:30 (including discussion)

Reza Mosayebi (Ruhr-University Bochum):

‘Kant, Kantians and Some Themes of Intersectionality’


Lucy Allais (Johns Hopkins University); Robert Bernasconi (Pennsylvania State University); Jasmine K. Gani (University of St Andrews); Corinna Mieth (Ruhr-University Bochum); Peter Niesen (University of Hamburg); Marcus Willaschek (Goethe University Frankfurt/M).

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