Hegel on Race and Development

Authored by: Frank M. Kirkland

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Race

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415711234
eBook ISBN: 9781315884424
Adobe ISBN:


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Previously, among other things, I argued that Kant’s philosophy could serve as a warrant justifying the first view of King’s famous phrase in his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, wherein we must (i) cease pre-judging people by their skin color or race and (ii) begin judging them solely by the substance of their character. 1 By so judging, we gauge the strength of their character in terms independently of the physiologically racial qualities and the emotional attachments thereto and instead give moral credit to actions done and beliefs held from their sense of duty and responsibility alone. The strength and “content of their character” would presuppose that attaching racial content to moral commitments is wrong and oppressive, and that human fidelities, neutral to race, blind to color, flourish, a state of affairs to which King himself is aligned. But there is a competing second view to which King is also aligned.

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