Theories of Race

Immanuel Kant

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    Immanuel Kant



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Immanuel Kant is known today primarily for his philosophical work, which was consummated in a series of exceptionally influential essays and in three large books: The Critique of Pure Reason, The Critique of Pure Practical Reason, and The Critique of Judgment. In these books, Kant describes human cognition as a system of interlocking and coordinated functions, the totality constituting a unity whose full exercise is oriented toward freedom and whose full realization would be a state of perpetual peace. Establishing the terms and limits of reason, ethics, and aesthetic judgment, these books established Kant as the most important philosopher of his time and the dominant figure in the philosophical movement that became known as the Enlightenment.

Before he developed this elaborate theoretical apparatus, however, and indeed before he became known as a philosopher, Kant was lecturing and writing on such subjects as mathematics, physics, natural history, and especially geography, which he taught for forty years. Over the course of his lectures on this subject, Kant developed one of the first true theories of race based on heritable variations, a contribution cited with great respect by Blumenbach and others who followed.

The relation between Kant’s “pre-critical” work and his subsequent philosophical career has been the subject of much debate. Some scholars see a clear division between his often poorly-informed and casually-formulated thoughts on human groups and the complex and scrupulous distinctions that characterize his later work, while others see lines of continuity between Kant’s “anthropology” and his philosophy. Critics of Kant point to the recurrence over several decades of a suggestion of a hierarchy of races that undermines his insistence on a single human species; defenders of Kant, however, often argue that the apparent differences Kant notes among races represent a problem to which his mature philosophical work eventually responds, pointing in particular to the late work “Perpetual Peace,” where Kant states that slavery is incompatible with the natural rights of mankind. The intriguing possibility animating such debates is that the problem of identifying races within a single human species served for Kant as a preliminary model for the unity-in-diversity of human cognition for which he argued in his philosophical work. (See article by Sandford listed below). It is in any event apparent that human differences create an internal tension in Kant’s thinking between humans as they are in reality and as they are in theory.

Kant’s thinking is always challenging, but in the case of race the challenge is compounded by the fact that, like others at the time, he treats as virtual synonyms a number of terms, including Gattung (species or genus), Art (kind), Rasse (race), and Klassen (classes), not always with perfect consistency even within a single text. For the non-German reader, different or inconsistent translations of these terms complicate the matter further. But it is clear that Kant, building on Buffon’s argument that fertility between groups signals a common species identity, insists that human differences do not amount to a species distinction. “The class [Klasse] of the whites is not distinguished from that of the blacks as a special species [Art] within the human genus [Menschengattung],” he writes in 1785; “and there are no different species [Arten] of human beings” (“Determination of the Concept of a Human Race”). It should be noted that at this time information about the appearance and habits of non-European races was scarce, distorted, and exaggerated when not altogether fabricated. In this context, the philosophical affirmation of human solidarity could seem almost theological in its counterfactuality.

An instance of Kant’s early thinking is a section of a 1764 book called Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime to which he gave the title “On National Characters.” In this section, passages from which are reproduced below, Kant describes, with what he concedes in a note is only “a tolerable level of accuracy,” how the “prototypes” of various people respond to the higher realms of aesthetic experience. Kant seems at first to be concerned with national characteristics—a standard part of his lectures on anthropology—but he turns, without explanation, to races, characterizing each in turn. His extremely critical estimate of Negroes is seemingly informed by Hume’s brief footnote to “Of National Characters.” A jarring comment about a reported conversation between a European priest and a “Negro carpenter”—a “scoundrel,” as Kant describes him, who “was completely black from head to foot, a distinct proof that what he said was stupid”—has attracted much mystified attention and no defenders, although it should be noted that the carpenter himself was criticizing an entire race—“you whites”—and indicting an entire race—his own—by defending the treatment of wives in Africa that Kant had described as “the deepest slavery.” Kant contrasts the African treatment of wives with the far more humane customs of the “savages” of Canada, whose women “actually get to command.”

In 1775, Kant produced a more consequential treatment of human groups, an announcement for a series of lectures entitled “Of the Different Human Races,” which he revised two years later to produce the version excerpted here. In it, Kant argues against polygenesis, describing how climate operated to split the “natural genus”—also called the “stem genus” and “lineal root genus,” borne by the earliest humans—into four “base races” (Grundrassen), which are to be considered as deviations or variations from a prototype. Once split, the root genus could never be rejoined, nor could one base race become another. Almost incidentally, Kant suggests that these variations are transmitted through heredity, a concept that, as Blumenbach was to comment, became the basic premise of scientific anthropology. This concept constitutes, for some, the evidence that Kant effectively “invented” the concept of race.*

In this text Kant boldly identifies the precise latitude in which the stem or root genus had arisen: the area between 31 and 52 degrees latitude, which encompasses Europe, North America, and much of Asia, but seems to be centered in northern Germany, where, perhaps coincidentally, Kant spent his entire life. This latitude is, Kant says, the most favorable for human habitation, and so it is reasonable to suppose that of all the races, the inhabitants of this region had diverged the least from their original form and could be considered direct descendants of the lineal root genus. With the advantage of a salubrious environment, and without the distractions of prolonged migrations, this group, Kant suggests, had been able to advance farther than others along the path to freedom. Kant’s classification of races on this basis was comparable to that advanced by Meiners, and was known to Josiah Nott and George Gliddon.

A 1788 essay “On the Use of Teleological Principles in Philosophy,” is of considerable but contested importance with respect to the issue of race in Kant’s thinking. In it, he reiterates his view that the Negro “undoubtedly holds the lowest of all remaining levels that we have now designated racial differences,” a sentiment whose implications for his overarching insistence on the unity of the human species based on a common stock of potentialities are not immediately obvious. Also important for an understanding of Kant’s evolving but never fully clarified views on race is the essay “Determination of the Concept of a Human Race” (1785). Both these essays are included, along with “Of the Different Races of Man,” in the Mikkelson edition cited below, along with a measured assessment by Mikkelson of the entire issue. The “Further Reading” suggestions offer a range of scholarly opinions on the question of the role of race in Kant’s thinking.

The greatest of the eighteenth-century philosophers, Kant also has preeminence in the history of anthropology, a discipline sometimes said to have its origins in Enlightenment ideals, but which could also be said to have taken root in the unequal encounters between Europeans and others whom they would progressively dominate or exploit. As it developed over the years, the concept of race bore, for better or worse, the markings of both Enlightenment philosophy and anthropology, and of the increasingly complicated relations between European nations and the rest of the world.

*See Robert Bernasconi, “Who Invented the Concept of Race? Kant’s Role in the Enlightenment Construction of Race,” in Robert Bernasconi, ed., Race (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001): 11-36; and Mark Larrimore, “Antinomies of Race: Diversity and Destiny in Kant,” Patterns of Prejudice 42 (2008) 4-5: 341-63. 

“On National Characters”


Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime

Among the peoples of our part of the world the Italians and the French are, in my opinion, those who most distinguish themselves in the feeling of the beautiful, but the Germans, the English, and the Spaniards those who are most distinguished from all others in the feeling of the sublime. Holland can be regarded as the land where this finer taste is fairly unnoticeable. The beautiful itself is either enchanting and touching, or laughing and charming. The former has something of the sublime in it, and in this feeling the mind is thoughtful and enraptured, while in the feeling of the second kind it is smiling and joyful. The first sort of beautiful feeling seems especially appropriate to the Italians, the second sort to the French. In the national character that has in it the expression of the sublime, this is either of the terrifying kind, which inclines a bit to the adventurous, or it is a feeling for the noble, or for the magnificent. I think I have grounds sufficient to attribute the first kind of feeling to the Spaniard, the second to the Englishman, and the third to the German. . . . The German will accordingly have less feeling in regard to the beautiful than the Frenchman, and less of that pertaining to the sublime than the Englishman, but his feeling will be more suited for the cases where both are to appear as combined, just as he will also luckily avoid the errors into which an excessive strength of either of these kinds of feeling alone could fall. . . .

The characters of mind of the peoples are most evident in that in them which is moral; for this reason we will next consider their different feeling in regard to the sublime and the beautiful from this point of view. The Spaniard is serious, taciturn, and truthful. There are few more honest merchants in the world than the Spanish. He has a proud soul and more feeling for great than for beautiful actions. Since in his mixture there is little to be found of generous and tender benevolence, he is often hard and also even cruel. The Auto da Fe endures not so much because of superstition as because of the adventurous inclination of the nation, which is moved by a venerable and terrifying rite, in which one sees San Benito, painted with figures of the devil, consigned to the flames that have been ignited by a raging piety. One cannot say that the Spaniard is haughtier or more amorous than anyone from another people, yet he is both in an adventurous way that is rare and unusual. To leave the plow standing and walk up and down the field with a long sword and cape until the stranger who is passing by has gone, or in a bullfight, where for once the beauties of the land are seen unveiled, to announce himself to his mistress with a special greeting and then in order to wage a dangerous fight with a wild animal to honor her, these are unusual and strange actions, which greatly diverge from what is natural.

The Italian seems to have a feeling which mixes that of a Spaniard and that of a Frenchman: more feeling for the beautiful than the former and more for the sublime than the latter. In this way, I think, the other features of his moral character can be explained.

The Frenchman has a dominant feeling for the morally beautiful. He is refined, courteous, and complaisant. He becomes intimate very quickly, is humorous and free in conversation, and the expression of a man or a lady of good manners has a meaning that is comprehensible only to one who has acquired the refined feeling of a Frenchman. . . . The object to which the merits and national capabilities of this people are most devoted is woman. Not as if she were loved or esteemed here more than elsewhere, but rather because she provides the best opportunity for displaying in their best light the favorite talents of wit, cleverness, and good manners . . . .

The fault which is closest to this national character is the ridiculous or, in a more polite expression, the lighthearted. Important things are treated like jokes, and trivialities serve for serious occupation. Even in advanced age the Frenchman still sings amorous songs, and is still as gallant as he can be towards the woman. In these remarks I have great authorities from this very same people on my side, and retreat behind a Montesquieu and d’Alembert in order to secure myself from any concerned indignation.

The Englishman is at the beginning of every acquaintance cold and indifferent toward a stranger. He has little inclination toward small niceties; by contrast, as soon as he is a friend he is ready to perform great services. In society, he makes little effort to be witty, or to display a refined demeanor, but he is understanding and resolute. He is a poor imitator, does not much ask how others judge, and simply follows his own taste. In relation to the woman he does not have the French refinement, but shows more respect to her and perhaps takes this too far, as in the marital state he commonly concedes an unrestricted authority to his wife. He is steadfast, sometimes to the point of being stiff-necked, bold, and resolute, often to the point of audacity, and acts according to principles, commonly to the point of being headstrong. He easily becomes an eccentric, not out of vanity, but because he troubles himself little about others and does not readily do violence to his own taste out of complaisance or imitation; for this reason he is rarely as much beloved as the Frenchman, but, once he is known, he is commonly more highly esteemed.

The German has a feeling that is a mixture of that of an Englishman and that of a Frenchman, but seems to come closer to the former, and the greater similarity with the latter is merely artificial and imitative. He has a happy mixture in the feeling of the sublime as well as the beautiful; and if he is not equal to an Englishman in the former or to the Frenchman in the latter, he surpasses them both in so far as he combines them. . . .

The Dutchman is of an orderly and industrious cast of mind, and since he looks only to what is useful, he has little feeling for what in a finer understanding is beautiful or sublime. For him a great man means the same as a rich man, by a friend he understands his business correspondents, and a visit that brings him no profit is very boring for him. He makes a contrast to both the Frenchman and the Englishman and is to a certain extent a very phlegmatic German. . . .

In love the German and the English have a fairly good stomach, somewhat fine in sentiment, but more of a healthy and robust taste. In this point the Italian is brooding, the Spaniard fantastic, the Frenchman dainty. (50-56)

If we now take a quick look through the other parts of the world, we find the Arab to be the noblest human being in the Orient, although with a feeling that very much degenerates into the adventurous. He is hospitable, generous, and truthful; but his tale and history and in general his sentiment always has something marvelous woven into it. His inflamed power of imagination presents things to him in unnatural and distorted images, and even the spread of his religion was a great adventure. If the Arabs are as it were the Spaniards of the Orient, then the Persians are the Frenchmen of Asia. They are good poets, courtly, and of rather fine taste. They are not such strict observers of Islam and allow their cast of mind, inclined to gaiety, a rather mild interpretation of the Koran. The Japanese can be regarded as it were as the Englishmen of this part of the world, although hardly in any other attribute than their steadfastness, which degenerates into the most extreme stiff-neckedness, their courage and their contempt of death. Otherwise they demonstrate few marks of a finer feeling. The Indians have a dominant taste for grotesqueries of the kind that comes down to the adventurous. Their religion consists of grotesqueries. Images of idols of enormous shape, the priceless tooth of the mighty ape Hanuman, the unnatural atonements of the Fakirs (heathen mendicant monks), etc., are in this taste. The voluntary sacrifice of the wives in the very same pyre that consumes the corpse of her husband is a repulsive adventure. What ridiculous grotesqueries do the verbose and studied compliments of the Chinese not contain: even their paintings are grotesque and represent marvelous and unnatural shapes, the likes of which are nowhere to be found in the world. They also have venerable grotesqueries, for the reason that they are of ancient usage, and no people in the world has more of them than this one.

The Negroes of Africa have by nature no feeling that rises above the ridiculous. Mr. Hume challenges anyone to adduce a single example where a Negro has demonstrated talents, and asserts that among the hundreds of thousands of blacks who have been transported elsewhere from their countries, although very many of them have been set free, nevertheless not a single one has ever been found who has accomplished something great in art or science or shown any other praiseworthy quality, while among the whites there are always those who rise up from the lowest rabble and through extraordinary gifts earn respect in the world. So essential is the difference between these two human kinds, and it seems to be just as great with regard to the capacities of mind as it is with respect to color. The religion of fetishes which is widespread among them is perhaps a sort of idolatry, which sinks so deeply into the ridiculous as ever seems to be possible for human nature. A bird’s feather, a cow’s horn, a shell, or any other common thing, as soon as it is consecrated with some words, is an object of veneration and of invocation in swearing oaths. The blacks are very vain, but in the Negro’s way, and so talkative that they must be driven apart from each other by blows.

Among all the savages there is no people which demonstrates such a sublime character of mind as that of North America. They have a strong feeling for honor, and as in hunt of it they will seek wild adventures hundreds of miles away, they are also extremely careful to avoid the least injury to it where their ever so harsh enemy, after he has captured them, tries to force a cowardly sigh from them by dreadful tortures. The Canadian savage is moreover truthful and honest. The friendship he establishes is just as adventurous and enthusiastic as anything reported from the oldest and most fabulous times. He is extremely proud, sensitive to the complete worth of freedom, and even in education tolerates no encounter that would make him feel a lowly subjugation. Lycurgus probably gave laws to such savages, and if a law-giver were to arise among the six nations, one would see a Spartan republic arise in the new world; just as the undertaking of the Argonauts is little different from the military expeditions of these Indians, and Jason has nothing over Attakakullakulla except the honor of a Greek name. All of these savages have little feeling for the beautiful in the moral sense, and the generous forgiveness of an insult, which is at the same time noble and beautiful, is as a virtue completely unknown among the savages, but is always looked upon with contempt as a miserable cowardice. . . .

If we consider the relationship between the sexes in these parts of the world, we find that the European has alone found the secret of decorating the sensuous charm of a powerful inclination with so many flowers and interweaving it with so much that is moral that he has not merely very much elevated its agreeableness overall but has also made it very proper. The inhabitant of the Orient is of a very false taste in this point. Since he has no conception of the morally beautiful that can be combined with this drive, he also loses even the value of the sensuous gratification, and his harem is a constant source of unrest for him. He falls into all sorts of amorous grotesqueries, among which the imaginary jewel is one of the foremost, which he tries to secure above all others, whose entire value consists only in one’s smashing it, and of which one in our part of the world generally raises much malicious doubt, and for the preservation of which he makes use of very improper and often disgusting means. Hence a woman there is always in prison, whether she be a maiden or have a barbaric, inept, and always suspicious husband. In the lands of the blacks can one expect anything better than what is generally found there, namely the female sex in the deepest slavery? A pusillanimous person is always a strict master over the weaker, just as with us that man is always a tyrant in the kitchen who outside of his house hardly dares to walk up to anyone. Indeed, Father Labat reports that a Negro carpenter, whom he reproached for haughty treatment of his wives, replied: You whites are real fools, for first you concede so much to your wives, and then you complain when they drive you crazy. There might be something here worth considering, except for the fact that this scoundrel was completely black from head to foot, a distinct proof that what he said was stupid. Among all the savages there are none among whom the female sex stands in greater real regard than those of Canada. In this perhaps they even surpass our civilized part of the world. Not as if they pay the women their humble respects; that would be mere compliments. No, they actually get to command. They meet and take council about the most important affairs of the nation, about war and peace. They send their delegates to the male council, and commonly it is their vote that decides. But they pay dearly enough for this preference. They have all the domestic concerns on their shoulders and share all of the hardships with the men. (58-61)

“Of the Different Human Races”


In the animal kingdom, the natural division into genera and species is based on the law of common propagation and the unity of the genera is nothing other than the unity of the reproductive power that is consistently operative within a specific collection of animals. For this reason, Buffon’s rule, that animals that produce fertile young with one another belong to one and the same physical genus (no matter how dissimilar in form they may be), must properly be regarded only as a definition of a natural genus of animals in general. A natural genus may, however, be distinguished from every artificial division. An artificial division is based upon classes and divides things up according to similarities, but a natural division is based upon identifying distinct lines of descent that divide according to reproductive relations. The first of these creates an artificial system for memorization, the second a natural system for the understanding. The first has only the intent of bringing creatures under headings; the second has the intent of bringing them under laws.

According to this second way of thinking, all human beings anywhere on earth belong to the same natural genus, because they always produce fertile children with one another even if we find great dissimilarities in their form. The unity of such a natural genus is, in other words, tantamount to the unity of its common effective reproductive power. To account for such unity, we can introduce only a single natural genus, assume that all human beings belong to the one line of descent from which – regardless of their dissimilarities – they emerged, or from which they might at least possibly have emerged. . . . An animal genus, which at the same time has a common line of descent, is not comprised of different species (since being comprised of different species just indicates dissimilarities of descent), but their divergences from one another are called deviations when they are inheritable. Similarly, the hereditary marks of descent are called resemblances when they agree with their origin. However, if the deviation can no longer produce the original formation of the line, it would be called degeneration.

Among the deviations, that is, among the hereditary dissimilarities that we find in animals that belong to a single line of descent, are those called races. Races are deviations that are constantly preserved over many generations and come about as a consequence of migration (dislocation to other regions) or through interbreeding with other deviations of the same line of descent, which always produces half-breed off-spring. Those deviate forms that always preserve the distinction of their deviation are called variations. Variations resemble each other, but they do not necessarily produce half-breeds when they mix with others. Those deviations which often, but not always, resemble one another may, on the other hand, be called varieties. Conversely, the deviation which produces half-breed off-spring with others, but which gradually dies out through migration, may be called a special stock.

Proceeding in this way, Negroes and whites are clearly not different species of human beings (since they presumably belong to one line of descent), but they do comprise two different races. This is because each of them perpetuate themselves in all regions of the earth and because they both, when they interbreed, necessarily produce half-breed children, or blends (Mulattoes). Blondes and brunettes are not, by contrast different races of whites, because a blond man who is the child of a brunette woman can also have distinctly blond children, although each of these deviations is always preserved, even when migration occurs frequently over many generations. For this reason, they are only variations of whites. . . .

2. Division of the human genus into its different races

I believe that we only need to assume four races in order to be able to derive all of the enduring distinctions immediately recognizable within the human genus. They are: (1) the white race; (2) the Negro race; (3) the Hun race (Mongol or Kalmuck); and (4) the Hindu or Hindustani race. I also count among the first of these, which we find primarily in Europe, the Moors (Mauritanians from Africa), the Arabs (following Niebuhr), the Turkish-Tatars, and the Persians, including all the other peoples of Asia who are not specifically excepted from them in the other divisions. The Negro race of the northern hemisphere is native (indigenous) only in Africa; that of the southern hemisphere (except Africa) is native only to New Guinea and is to be found on several neighboring islands only because of migration. . . .

3. Of the immediate causes of the origin of these different races

. . . Human beings were created in such a way that they might live in every climate and endure each and every condition of the land. Consequently, numerous seeds and natural predispositions must lie ready in human beings either to be developed or held back in such a way that we might become fitted to a particular place in the world. These seeds and natural predispositions appear to be inborn and made for these conditions through the on-going process of reproduction. Making use of these ideas, we wish to examine the entire human genus as it can be found all over the earth and to specify purposive causes to account for the appearance of deviations in those cases where natural causes are not readily discernible. . . .

Displacement into an arctic region, human beings had gradually to take on a smaller build. This is because with a smaller build the power of the heart remains the same but blood circulation takes place in a shorter time. Consequently, the pulse is more rapid and the blood warmer. . . .

However, when a norther people is compelled to withstand the influence of the cold of this region for a long time, even greater changes must take place. All development which causes the body only to squander its juices must eventually be impeded in so dry a region as this. For this reason, the seeds for hair growth are suppressed over the course of time so that only so much hair remains as is needed for the necessary covering of the head. By means of a natural predisposition the protruding part of the face, which is the part of the face that is least capable of being covered by hair, gradually becomes flatter. This happens through the intervention of solicitous nature, in order that this people might better survive, since this part of the fact also suffers the most from the effect of the cold. . . .

The extreme, humid heat of the warm climate must, on the hand, show quite opposite effects on a people that has lived under such conditions long enough to have become fully acclimated. Conditions such as these will produce exactly the reverse of the Kalmuck form. The growth of the spongy parts of the body had to increase in a hot and humid climate. This growth produced a thick, turned up nose and thick, fatty lips. The skin had to be oily, not only to lessen the too heavy perspiration, but also to ward off the harmful absorption of the foul, humid air. The profusion of iron particles, which are otherwise found in the blood of every human being, and, in this case, are precipitated in the net-shaped substance through the evaporation of the phosphoric acid (which explains why all Negroes stink), is the cause of the blackness that shines through the epidermis. The heavy iron content in the blood also seems to be necessary in order to prevent the enervation of all the parts of the body. The oily skin, which weakens the nourishing mucus necessary for the growth of hair, hardly even allows for the production of the wool that covers the head. Besides all this, humid warmth generally promotes the strong growth of animals. In short, all of these factors account for the origin of the Negro, who is well-suited to his climate, namely, strong, fleshy, and agile. However, because he is so amply supplied by his motherland, he is also lazy, indolent, and dawdling. . . .

We now have some ideas about these matters that at least provide us with reasons enough to counter the ideas of others who find the differences among the human genera so irreconcilable that they prefer instead to assume that there must have been numerous local creations of human beings. As Voltaire says: God—who created the reindeer in Lapland to eat the moss of this cold region, and who also created the Laplander to eat the reindeer—is pretty good inspiration for the poet, but he does not provide much assistance to the philosopher, who is not permitted to abandon the chain of natural causes except in those cases where he clearly sees these causes connected to his immediate fate. . . .

We have identified four human races. We can understand all the diversity of the genus on the basis of these four races. However, all deviations surely require a lineal root genus. We must either conclude that this lineal root genus is already extinct or that we can find evidence of it among the existing stock, from which we can generally construct a comparative account of the lineal root genus. To be sure, we cannot hope now to find anywhere in the world an unchanged example of the original human form. However, it is only because of this natural propensity to take on the characteristics of any natural setting over many successive generations that the human form must now everywhere be subject to local modifications. The only part of the earth that we can justifiably think to have the most fortunate combination of influences of both the cold and hot regions is the area between 31 and 52 degrees latitude in the old world (which also seems to deserve the name old world because of the people that inhabit it). The greatest riches of earth’s creation are found in this region and this is also where human beings must diverge least from their original form, since the human beings living in this region were already well-prepared to be transplanted into every other region of the earth. We certainly find in this region white, indeed, brunette inhabitants. We want, therefore, to assume that this form is that of a lineal root genus. The nearest northern deviation to develop from this original form appears to be the noble blond form. This form is characterized by its tender white skin, reddish hair, and pale blue eyes. This form inhabited the northern regions of Germany and, if we believe other available evidence, the region that stretches further to the east up to the Altai mountains, a cold region filled with vast wooded areas. At this time the influence of cold and humid air, which drew the bodily juices toward a tendency for scurvy, produced a certain stock of human beings. This stock would have gotten on well enough to persist as a race if the further development of this deviation had not been so frequently interrupted by interbreeding with alien stock. We can, therefore, at least take all this tentative account of the origins of the real races. If so, the four presently existing races and the natural causes that account for their origins can be illustrated by means of the following summary:

Lineal root genus
White of brownish color

First race
Noble blond (northern Europe)
from humid cold

Second race
Copper red (America)
from dry cold

Third race
Black (Senegambia)
from humid heat

Fourth race
Olive-yellow (Asian-Indians)
from dry heat

Oliver Eberl, “Kant on Race and Barbarism: Towards a More Complex View on Racism and Anti-Colonialism in Kant,” Kantian Review 24 (September 2019) 3: 385-413. 

Sara Eigen and Mark Larrimore, eds., The German Invention of Race (Albany: State University of New York Press 2006). 

Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, “The Color of Reason: The Idea of ‘Race’ in Kant’s Anthropology,” in Postcolonial African Philosophy: A Critical Reader, ed. Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze (Cambridge: MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1997): 103-40. 

Immanuel Kant, “Determination of the Concept of a Human Race” (1785), trans., Holly Wilson and Gunter Zoller, in Robert B. Louden and Gunter Zoller, eds., Immanuel Kant: Anthropology, History, and Education (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 143-59. 

Immanuel Kant, “On the Use of Teleological Principles in Philosophy” (1788), trans., Gunter Zoller, in Robert B. Louden and Gunter Zoller, eds., Immanuel Kant: Anthropology, History, and Education (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 192-218. 

Pauline Kleingeld, “Kant’s Second Thoughts on Race,” The Philosophical Quarterly 57 (Oct. 2007) 229: 573-92. 

Jon M. Mikkelson, “Translator’s Introduction: Recent Work on Kant’s Race Theory / The Texts / The Translations,” in Kant and the Concept of Race: Late Eighteenth-Century Writings, ed. Jon M. Mikkelson (Albany: SUNY Press, 2013), 1-40. 

Stella Stanford, “Kant, Race, and Natural History,” Philosophy and Social Criticism 44 (2018) 9: 950-77. 

Devin J. Vartija, The Color of Equality: Race and Common Humanity in Enlightenment Thought (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021).