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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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Leibniz on Human Equality and Human Domination

Leibniz on Human Equality and Human Domination

(p.160) Chapter 7 Leibniz on Human Equality and Human Domination
Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference

Justin E. H. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter undertakes an extensive treatment of the place of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the history of the concept of race. In particular, the chapter draws out the significant points of difference between Leibniz's view, on the one hand, and Bernier's biogeographical view, on the other. It shows, in fact, that Leibniz remains thoroughly committed to a conception of race that is rooted in earlier ideas about the temporal succession of members of a family or lineage. Moreover, the chapter reveals in what way his analysis of race may be seen as a concrete application of his very deepest philosophical commitment, according to which the order of the world amounts to a multiplicity that is underlain by unity.

Keywords:   Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, François Bernier, human equality, human domination, lineage, multiplicity

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