The Idea Of Race Argumentative Essay
The concept of race and when and where it first arose has been attempted to be explained by many philosophers over a multitude of centuries. However, the question still remains upon the abstraction of whom planted the initial idea. In the novel The Idea of Race, edited by Robert Bernasconi and Tommy L. Lott, Bernasconi and Lott have combined a slew of essays written by different philosophies on the phenomenon of race. Four major philosophers who attempted to understand this concept were Francois Bernier, Francois-Marie Voltaire, Immanuel Kant, and Johann Gottfried von Herder.
In 1684, Francois Bernier published an essay called “A New Division of the Earth” which directly related the idea of there being different races based on skin color and physical attributes. Bernier “remarked that there are four or …show more content…
His idea of polygenesis represented multiple beginnings. Voltaire suggest that each race has its own culture and way of life. Meaning, that no matter where in the world a certain race was placed the same result of the culture would occur. An example is when Voltaire speaks of Albiones as an older race since there are so few of them today. Voltaire concluded that “some races of men, or animals approximating to men, have perished” (Bernasconi, 6). Ancient writing of Satyrs and other mythical creatures could be in fact true and we should not doubt their previous existence since we have no actual evidence to prove otherwise. Voltaire’s tone is very inquisitive as he ponders other life forms before Adam and Eve. He concludes by stating “that all the races of man have enjoyed a life nearly as short as our own” however, we as Homo sapiens may just happen to survive longer due to our advances and living in a more healthier and happier environment (Bernasconi,