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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: June 2012

D - The character of the races


With regard to this subject I can refer to what Herr Privy Councilor Girtanner has presented so beautifully and thoroughly in explanation and further development in his work (in accordance with my principles); I want only to make a further remark about family kind and the varieties or modifications that can be observed in one and the same race.

Instead of assimilation, which nature intended in the melting together of different races, she has here made a law of exactly the opposite: namely in a people of the same race (for example, the white race), instead of allowing the formation of their characters constantly and progressively to approach one another in likeness – where ultimately only one and the same portrait would result, as in prints taken from the same copperplate – rather to diversify to infinity the characters of the same tribe and even of the same family in physical and mental traits. – It is true that nurses, in order to flatter one of the parents, say: “The child has this from the father, and that from the mother”; but if this were true, all forms of human generation would have been exhausted long ago, and since fertility in matings is regenerated through the heterogeneity of individuals, reproduction would have been brought to a standstill. – So, for example, ash-colored hair (cendrée) does not come from the mixture of a brunette with a blond, but rather signifies a particular family kind.

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Kant: Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View
  • Online ISBN: 9780511809569
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