Reckoning With Kant on Race

Philosophical Forum 51 (3):221-245 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This essay develops Kant’s theory of reform to theorize racial justice reform. I assess the function of Kant’s philosophy of race as part of his nonideal theory of justice, which offers a racist pragmatic anthropology that uses the concept of race to determine the practical effectiveness of legislative reason. His philosophy of race defends a teleological account of the natural history of the human species to fulfill the requirements of justice and assumes that certain racial groups have failed to develop their innate capacity for legislative reason. I show that we need an alternative Kantian nonideal theory of justice that demonstrates how legislative reason actualizes practical freedom. Rather than appeal to anthropology, I expand Kant’s model of public reason to advance racial justice reform under the conditions of partial compliance to the requirements of justice in a profoundly nonideal republic such as the U.S. I then showcase the promise—and limits—of the a priori ideals of citizenship and publicity for racial justice reform and introduce the ideal of interracial civic fellowship to guide the public use of reason in nonideal circumstances.

Similar books and articles

First Steps Toward a Nonideal Theory of Justice.Marcus Arvan - 2014 - Ethics and Global Politics 7 (3):95-117.
Nonideal Justice as Nonideal Fairness.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):208-228.
Global Justice and Poverty Relief in Nonideal Circumstances.Pablo Gilabert - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (3):411-438.
Can Rawls’s Nonideal Theory Save his Ideal Theory?Hye Ryoung Kang - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (1):32-56.
Procedural Justice and Affirmative Action.Kristina Meshelski - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):425-443.
Rawls and racial justice.D. C. Matthew - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (3):235-258.
Amartya Sen’s nonideal theory.Kristina Meshelski - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (2):31-45.
Nonideal theory and compliance—A clarification.Naima Chahboun - 2015 - European Journal of Political Theory 14 (2):229-245.
Can Rawls’s Non-Ideal Theory Save his Ideal Theory?Hye-Ryoung Kang - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (1):32-56.
Burdened Societies and Transitional Justice.Lisa L. Fuller - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (3):369-386.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-07-07

Downloads
250 (#54,552)

6 months
68 (#23,112)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Elvira Basevich
University of California, Davis

References found in this work

Kantian Patriotism.Pauline Kleingeld - 2000 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 29 (4):313-341.

Add more references