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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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New Worlds

New Worlds

(p.70) Chapter 3 New Worlds
Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference

Justin E. H. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to the history of the race concept. It considers the early development of thinking about human diversity and human origins in the context of the Renaissance. In important respects, later reflections in European philosophy echo debates that played out a century earlier within the Ibero-American world, largely as a result of the fact that the Iberians were the earliest Europeans to have significant encounters with non-European peoples in the modern era. The chapter focuses on those sixteenth-century engagements with the novissima americana, the latest news from the Americas, that dealt with the question of the origins and nature of biological kinds in the New World, and particularly with the origins and nature of New World peoples.

Keywords:   race concept, human diversity, human origins, Renaissance, European philosophy, Ibero-American world, New World, novissima americana, New World peoples

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