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Nature, Human Nature, and Human DifferenceRace in Early Modern Philosophy$
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Justin E. H. Smith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153643

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153643.001.0001

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(p.264) Conclusion
Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference

Justin E. H. Smith

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter links antiquarian and contemporary conceptions of race, though at the same time noting that there can be no easy distinction between the two. It shows that while there may be transhistorical and innate predispositions to divide human society into a fixed number of essentialized subgroups, it would be extremely hasty to suppose that these “kinks” of the human mind are somehow fixed in the human brain. Between any possible predisposition and the actual modern history of thinking about race, there is a tremendous amount of room for conceptualizing alternative paths our deep-seated propensities for thinking about human diversity might have taken, and could still yet take.

Keywords:   race, racial thinking, racism, human diversity

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