World History Philosophy Of Race

1566 words - 6 pages

View of Race by Different Philosophers in Different PeriodsRace has been an issue since the beginning of organized civilizations. The institution of slavery based on ethnicity extends back beyond recorded history. References to it appear in the ancient Babylonian code of Hammurabi. Its form and nature varied greatly in ancient society. It seems to have been common in the Tigris-Euphrates civilizations and in ancient Persia. According to passages in the Bible, black Egyptian slave labor was used in building temples and pyramids. Slavery was an established institution in the Greece of Homer's time, with Greeks having an excepted belief that Asians were naturally born slaves. Early Roman history seems to have been of the same type as in Greece , but by the 1st century B.C., as the Roman Empire continued to expand, racism and slavery were expanded along with the empire. Currently there is some form of racism in most parts of the world. The term 'ethnic cleansing' first became a household term for television viewers around the world in the 1990s. The years of fighting among Serbs, Croats and Bosnians (then called Muslims), following the dissolving of Yugoslavia, is an example of a war based purely on ethnicity. The problems that we are currently experiencing in the middle east, stem from religious differences. Race, ethnicity and religion all play major roles in genocidal problems. Our examination will be on the role race plays. Present times in America we are looking at how we should deal with the idea of race and what role race should play. We will examine fundamental biological differences between races as theorized by four historians with different backgrounds and races, Blumenbach, Appiah, Dubois and Winant & Oni, and we will look at how philosophy's on race have changed over time.In preceding centuries, theories about race centered on the idea that there were biological differences between members of different races. J.F. Blumenbach recognized five races: Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, American, and Malayan. He supposed the American Race was the stage between Caucasians and Mongolians and the Malayan race fell between Caucasians and Ethiopians. Blumenbach based his classifications on mostly skin color and some facial features. It's understandable that scientists without modern technology might suggest that different races have significant biological differences. Recent studies have proven otherwise, though, and the idea that there are races at all has fallen out of fashion in some scholarly circles. In 1972 Science magazine published a study showing that the amount of genetic variation between members of different racial groups was only slightly higher than the amount of racial variation between members of the same racial group.Dr. William DuBois, founder of the Pan-African movement, defines a race in the following passage from his paper called The Conservation of Races. "What then is a race? It is a vast family of human beings, generally...

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