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ManhuntsA Philosophical History$
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Grégoire Chamayou

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151656

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151656.001.0001

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Hunting Black Skins

Hunting Black Skins

(p.43) Chapter 5 Hunting Black Skins

Grégoire Chamayou

Steven Rendall

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the hunt for blacks that began in the fifteenth century, and reached its full extent with the “discovery” of America and the rise of triangular trade—that is, with the establishment of Western capitalism. It considers a racial theory of African slavery that made it possible to combine two theses: blacks themselves were intrinsically responsible for their enslavement, and at the same time, and for precisely that reason, they could do nothing about it. They were in a sense completely responsible because they were the endogenous cause, and simultaneously not responsible because this cause was their nature itself. This idea was also applicable, though in a different sense, to European nations: by perpetrating their crimes, they were only conforming to the predatory urge that marked the superiority of their race.

Keywords:   African slavery, blacks, Africans, manhunting, manhunts, Western capitalism, enslavement, predator

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