Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Nature, Human Nature, and Human DifferenceRace in Early Modern Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 13 October 2019

The Specter of Polygenesis

The Specter of Polygenesis

(p.92) Chapter 4 The Specter of Polygenesis
Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference

Justin E. H. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter follows the development of Renaissance debates about the nature of human diversity into the following century, and particularly as they played out in France and England. It focuses in particular on so-called polygenesis, as represented most famously by Isaac La Peyrère's pre-Adamism, according to which different human groups were created at different moments. Furthermore, the chapter considers some of the elaborate attempts to account for the migration of human beings throughout the world in terms of diffusionist models, focusing in particular on the work of the seventeenth-century English jurist Matthew Hale, and arguing that such attempts played an important role in the increasing naturalization of modern paleoanthropology, and therefore also of modern accounts of the nature of human diversity.

Keywords:   Renaissance, human diversity, polygenesis, pre-Adamism, human groups, diffusionist models, human migration, modern paleoanthropology

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.