By Julie K. Ward, Tommy L. Lott
Philosophers on Race adds a brand new size to present study on race conception by means of analyzing the historic roots of the idea that within the works of significant Western philosophers
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You musn’t force us to give our guardians the kind of happiness that would make them something other than guardians. We know how to clothe the farmers in purple robes, festoon them with gold jewelry, and tell them to work the land whenever they please. We know how to settle our potters on couches by the fire, feasting and passing the wine around, with their wheel beside them for whenever they want to make pots. And we can make all the others happy in the same way, so that the whole city is happy.
Given that the best function that they can do is to perform manual labor, then such persons should be ruled in the way of despotic rule, and these would then be slaves “by nature” (1254b18–20). The problem with the characteristic of being fit to perform manual labor is that it reduces to having a certain kind of body, or having certain physical features, which Aristotle later casts doubt on as determinative markers. But the link between natural slaves and bodily traits is first stated: natural slaves are more like the body than the soul, more like the beast than the human, and this reflects their function to be working with their bodies.
Heaven and Hell. Bracken, Harry 1973: Essence, Accident, and Race. Hermathena, 116, 81–96. Bracken, Harry 1978: Philosophy and Racism. Philosophia, vol. 8, no. 2, 241–60. Davidson, Donald 1984: On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme. In Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 183–98. Gould, Stephen Jay 1981: The Mismeasure of Man. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. Hall, Edith 1989: Inventing the Barbarian. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Herrnstein, Richard J. and Murray, Charles 1994: The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.